Didn't raise taxes as PM instructed not to burden people during pandemic: Nirmala Sitharamantext_fields
New Delhi: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday that she did not attempt to increase the taxes in the Budget 2022 as Prime Minister had directed to not burden the common man with higher taxes during Covid-19.
She added that the government has continued this tradition since last year.
"Last year, the prime minister had ordered us not to increase taxes during the pandemic time, even if there is a huge fiscal deficit. He said the public should not face the additional burden of taxes during this time. The instructions were the same this time around too," she added.
Accordingly, Income tax slabs have not been changed in this budget.
Meanwhile, she also "apologised" to middle class taxpayers after presenting the Union Budget 2022. Since little to no changes were brought into effect in terms of income tax, the budget may turn out to be disappointment for salaried and middle class taxpayers.
The finance minister has also proposed that both Centre and states government employees' tax deduction limit be increased from 10 per cent to 14 per cent. This will help state government employees with social security benefits and bring them at par with the Central government employees, she said.
Earlier on Tuesday, PM Modi said the budget will benefit all, especially the poor and those from backward sections of society. "This budget is full of new possibilities for more infrastructure, more investment, more growth, and more jobs," the Prime Minister said, adding that it will also open up the field of green jobs... An important aspect of this budget is the welfare of the poor".
The government said the budget aims to boost economic growth amid the continued disruption from the Covid pandemic and the rising inflation. Ms Sitharaman also said this year's budget will be a "blueprint to steer economy from India@75 to India@100".
The budget this time includes a huge push for infrastructure and estimates the effective capital expenditure of the Central government at ₹ 10.68 lakh crore in 2022-23, comprising around 4.1 per cent of the GDP.
Talking of revenue, Ms Sitharaman said the gross GST collections for January is ₹ 1,40,986 crore — the highest since the inception of the tax in 2017.
Ms Sitharaman said the government will soon be issuing a digital rupee using the blockchain technology by the Reserve Bank starting 2022-23, which will be a big boost for the economy.
Income from the transfer of any virtual digital asset will be taxed at the rate of 30 per cent.