We are back in the thick of things as they say with April upon us and we are beginning a new quarter as well as the financial year, with a lot of hope and optimism. With all cylinders firing, the engines are being revved up for optimum performance with vigour and vitality.
The tax collections have been buoyant and the direct taxes have risen by a healthy 15 per cent. The number of tax payers have gone up from 4.0 crore Indians to 6.26 crore, which is no mean achievement; but the persistent efforts of the Government to make India a tax compliant society, where we respect the values of paying our taxes as honestly as possible.
As witnessed largely, it is the salaried class, which is a major contributor to the taxes, but I think the Government should target its drive towards the business and professional category first and ensure that maximum people are brought in the tax net.
Now that the Aadhaar scheme has rolled out and many linkages have been achieved, such as the ones to our bank accounts and to Pancard and other financial inclusions too have been done, the Government should start data mining to check individuals with incomes who fall into the tax bracket but haven’t done so.
Without being vindictive or any kind of social profiling the Government should go about this job in a most transparent fashion and issue data every quarter about the number of people scrutinised and the percentage of people brought into the tax bracket. This will instil confidence in the tax paying citizenry and embolden the tax evaders to get their act together and get into the system of paying their taxes regularly.
The second scheme the government has to do is to get agriculturalists who have an income above 10 lakh or have consolidated land holdings above 20 acres to file their incomes. The level of tax payment can be decided by the FM or the cabinet, which will look at all aspects before rolling out this major reform in our tax system.
Just as I am putting this edit piece together, I get the news of India’s continued excellent performance at CWG being held at Gold Coast where India has reached the third spot on the seventh day itself and has bagged 12 gold, 5 silver and 8 bronze. With three days still remaining and many disciplines to reach their finale, I am sure the final tally will be quite impressive this time.
Another point of discussion is our penchant for achieving the targets or goals however you put it, without paying heed to the processes and our lack of creativity. In our day-to-day life also, we are taught both at home and schools that performance is everything and sacrosanct; that we pay very little heed to the actual learning and the art of questioning.
We take everything at face value and don’t seem to question anything. So many aspects of our daily life are taken for granted and we go about our chores in the most mechanical and dumb fashion, which astounds any westerner. The point I am trying to raise is, somewhere in our scheme of things, we have killed creativity and the art of analytical reasoning, right from our childhood and our mature life. We should change our system of competition / competing to one of being more inclusive and process-driven where understanding, analysis, creativity, and reasoning are given more importance than plain learning. We should adopt the grades system in our schooling and try and develop our skills towards thinking, rationale and solutions.
Creative thinking should be given maximum weight-age and should be encouraged. This will be a precursor to society building where we will be able to produce people who can envisage a Google or a Tesla and FB, who knows? With such a large pool of Brain Power at our disposal of 1.27 billion Indians, we could be the harness that would propel India much further in the comity of nations.