New Delhi, Sept. 21: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today called for scrapping direct income tax, saying the next government should adopt the “reforms” he was suggesting to put the economy back on track.
Swamy, who recently merged his Janata Party with the BJP, said abolition of direct income tax would come as a big relief to the salaried middle class and boost savings that would generate high growth. He said the revenue the government earns from direct income tax was a very small amount that could be foregone to boost growth.
He said he was not enunciating the BJP’s policy but was only suggesting some measures the next government — which, he said, would certainly be led by the NDA — could adopt.
The BJP has so far never favoured abolition of direct income tax and Swamy, who was addressing a media conference at the party’s headquarters, clarified that he was speaking as an economist. “This is my suggestion,” he said.
Swamy also suggested abolition of excise tax on all items except the top 25 on the list of indirect taxes. These items, he said, contribute 94 per cent of the revenue earned, so excise tax on all other items should be abolished to give relief to the middle class and the poor.
Asked how the government would generate revenue, Swamy suggested an ordinance to nationalise bank accounts of Indian citizens in countries that permit secret banking. This, he said, will “net” for the government thousands of crores of rupees stashed abroad illegally.
Swamy said he has given his suggestions to senior leader Nitin Gadkari, who has been asked to prepare the party’s vision document for the 2014 elections. “The … reforms I am suggesting would give immediate results. I am sure the BJP leaders would consider my suggestions,” he said.