December 2, 2008

decentralised taxation system

Rajiv Dixit, proponent of Azadi Bachao Andolana, demanded a decentralised taxation system in the country. At the ‘Samvaad’ programme
organised in Dharwad, he said, the present centralised system of taxation allowed for greater corruption. Dixit pointed out that nearly 80 per cent of the tax collected from people was being spent on salaries of politicians and bureaucrats and hardly 20 per cent went into developmental work. "The budget presented by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh is similar to the one presented by the British regime in 1930. The Rs 130 crore budget in 1930 had allocated only Rs 20 crore for development and the rest was expenditure on establishment. After 56 years of Independence, the Rs 4,38,795 crore Budget for 2003-2004 had earmarked only 20 per cent for development". Dixit said whatever development had taken place in the country’s infrastructure was from loans taken from foreigners. The decentralised system would curb corruption and allow the tax collected to be spent locally. It would also provide for accountability, he added. The local bodies should be allowed to keep 80 per cent of the tax collected and send 20 per to the central or state governments. Dixit said, the per capita contribution in the form of taxes was Rs 6,000 per annum in India and in return, the per capita expenditure was Rs 600. The remaining money was spent on VIPs and politicians he rued.

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