In a wide ranging interview with ETV Rajasthan, in the program Aamne-Saamne with host Dr. Anita Hada Sangwan, Dr. Subramanian Swamy was his erudite self as he listed four things that he would do, if he were to be the Finance Minister:
Abolish Personal Income Tax – To boost India’s economy, the government should do something that immediately has a positive effect on people’s mindset and that would be the step of abolishing Personal Income Tax. The fiscal fallout of this can be managed in many ways, including auction of Coal mining, Telecommunications Spectrum etc.
Simplify Excise Duties – There are about 2788 commodities on which Excise duties are levied today. Of these, the government gets 90% of the revenue from the top 21. Therefore simplify the Excise duties, remove the 2767 items and in the remaining 21, make it standard for each commodity (i. e. do not have sub-classification e. g. Fiber/ Cotton/ Rayon etc.)
Enable Agriculture in India – India is one of the cheapest producers of Agriculture based products. The Government should encourage this sector by making it easy for farmers to store/ ship/ process goods they make. India is one of the few countries in the world that allows agricultural production year round and the government should take steps to ensure that this is enabled to the fullest extent. It may need India to engage with the rest of the World in WTO by rationalizing tariffs etc.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – Allow FDI only in those projects that come with technical know how. Retailers such as Walmart, if allowed, will obliterate the small Mom and Pop stores in the country because of the lower interest rate that they enjoy in the United States.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a definite plan in his mind in terms of how he wants to approach India-Pakistan relations and that the country should give him room to execute it rather than scrutinizing and second guessing his every move. Answering to a question as to whether he was disappointed about not being a part of the Cabinet, he replied that he neither asked for it nor wanted it and therefore there is no question of being disappointed.
On the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s British citizenship issue, he stated that Rahul Gandhi himself has stated his British Citizenship in his filings (he was the Company Secretary) and therefore knew fully well what he was doing.
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