With a ballooning fiscal deficit, the government is looking for ways to push up its revenue and changes in the structure of taxation may just be one such step. Here is what experts have to say:
Azim Premji, chairman, Wirpo: It sounds like the right thing to do politically, but I don't actually know if it will come up. The same thing has come up on estate duties. Most parts of the world have estate duties. Is it the right thing to do or not a right thing to do? In terms of taxing the super-rich, I think there is legitimacy in a country as poor as ours.
Naina Lal Kidwai, country head-India and director Asia-Pacific, HSBC: A higher rate of tax on the high-income group is uncalled for...it will discourage entrepreneurship. Additionally, the threshold for paying income tax at 30 per cent should be raised from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
Adi Godrej, president of CII and chairman of Godrej group: We have said that any increase in taxes (on rich) will create a negative perception on investment and therefore should be avoided. Widening the tax net is the solution. I hope we don't do anything where perception is affected and I think increasing tax rates would not be very good for the country.
C. Rangarajan, chairman, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Committee: One need not disturb the structure of income tax system as it is now. But add a surcharge for income above particular level. I believe as we go along, we need to raise more revenues and the people with larger incomes must be willing to contribute more.
P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister: We should consider the argument whether the very rich should be asked to pay a little more on some occasions.