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Budget tries to satisfy interest of Modi, Moody’s: Tharoor

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New Delhi: Describing the union budget as a ‘name changing exercise’, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said there are “alarming contradictions” as the budget tries to satisfy the interest of Modi as well as rating agency Moody’s.

“This budget falls between two stools, between sending reassuring signals to the rating agencies abroad and sending even more reassuring signals to voters at home. In other words, it tries to satisfy both Modi’s interest and Moody’s interest,” he said while intiating the debate in the Lok Sabha.

“Nowhere is this contradiction more apparent than in the alarming unreality of some of the government’s numbers, specially a 3.5 per cent fiscal deficit, when it is very clear from the budget that there will be unplanned expenses and unrealised revenue,” he said.

The government has been meeting its fiscal deficit targets on the back of the aam aadmi instead of boosting the real incomes of the poor by cutting indirect taxes, he said.

With regard to corporate tax, he said the rate cut did not happen.

“Making promises with no intention to fulfil them is not exactly an unfamiliar territory for this government. Too many promises from the previous budget have not been executed or fulfilled,” he said.

“We have often said this is not a game-changing government. It is a name-changing government,” he added.

Taking a dig at the govenrment, Tharoor said that unlike the black money estimates floated by the ruling party, you are not getting your economics from Baba Ramdev.

“The black into white scheme of the government has identified only Rs 3,770 crore of undisclosed foreign assets, which boils down to 30 rupees for every Indian instead of Rs 15 lakh per person promised to us. But, of course, we have been informed by the senior leader of BJP that this is only a jumla and we should not take this figure too seriously,” he said.

He further said that the tax exemption on profits for startups is a far cry from the much-needed rationalisation of tax on angel investors.

“In fact, because more start-ups are there, let us face it, do not, actually, book profits in the first few years of their operation. So, telling him you do not have to pay tax on profits makes no difference because they do not have profits anywhere in the beginning.

“What you really need is to give angel investments, which are the bread and butter of these cash starved start-ups, give them a removal of the angel tax which would have, actually, strengthened the start-up eco system,” he said.

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