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Yes, only 15 million Indians pay tax; but who is to blame for this?

It is Mr Modi's govt that has added to the problem, and it can resolve it, only if it has the stomach to ignore the inevitable howls of protest from a very vocal middle class, writes T N Ninan

T N Ninan 

T N Ninan

The prime minister has drawn attention to the fact that only 15 million people in India pay income tax. He is right to complain, since more than that number buy two-wheelers in a year. The total two-wheeler population is about 180 million. The cheapest scooters cost about Rs 50,000, and the more popular models cost over Rs 65,000.

It is therefore not unreasonable to expect that someone earning enough to own a scooter or motorbike should be paying income tax. Unfortunately, less than 10 per cent do. So Narendra Modi is right to complain, but he is the wrong person to be doing it. For, while ...

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First Published: Fri, February 14 2020. 19:30 IST
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