12 May, 2021

‘We Should Not Be So Scared Of Foreign Investors’

An interview with two-time finance minister Yashwant Sinha who has left an indelible stamp on the Indian economy.

Jitender Gupta
‘We Should Not Be So Scared Of Foreign Investors’
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Twice finance minister, once under ex-PM Atal Behari Vajpayee and earlier during Janata Party rule, Yashwant Sinha has left an indelible stamp on the Indian economy. Sinha, whose son Jayant is MoS finance, finds Arun Jaitley’s budget pro-corporate while neglecting BJP’s key constituency, the middle class. Excerpts of a phone interview with Pragya Singh.

Why do you think the budget fell short of pleasing the middle class?

The middle class, particularly income-taxpayers, look forward most to higher exemption limits, this time, from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. This was also recommended by the standing com­mittee on finance I chaired in the last Lok Sabha. It made two related suggestions. One, to tax income from Rs 3 to Rs 10 lakh at 10 per cent, from Rs 10-20 lakh at 20 per cent and above Rs 20 lakh at 30 per cent. Two, instead of tinkering with rates, I had suggested linking exemptions and slabs to inflation—the consumer index. This would be like government servants’ dearness...

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