ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Boldness, No Discretion.

Editorial from Volume XIII, No. 9, March 4, 1961.

The Finance Minister has shown courage and a rare sense of duty in addressing himself to the task of raising resources and made a good beginning for the Third Five-Year Plan. His counterparts in the State Governments who had to undertake the same task have shied from it...Shri Morarji stands out in contrast and deserves congratulations even from those who might have set their sights much higher than he has done. Every year that passes makes the task more difficult. For a given target can be achieved at a lower rate of tax, the earlier the tax is imposed in the Plan period, and Morarji has silenced his critics by presenting proposals for additional taxation in a pre-election year... The Centre has to raise Rs 1,100 crores over the five years of the Third Plan and the tax proposals that the Finance Minister has put forward in the first year are expected to bring in Rs 63 crores. At this rate, additional taxation by the Central Government may be expected to amount to Rs 315 crores or so over the five years, that is, roughly 30 per cent of the target set for the Plan period... But while the Finance Minister has, un-doubtedly, shown an appreciation of the task he has to undertake, he has not given in the tax proposals any very clear idea of how he is going to perform this task over the next five years. He has not shown how this burden is to be distrib-uted between direct and indirect taxes. And as-suming that large part of the resources have to be raised from indirect taxes, he has not indi-cated either how these are to be distributed be-tween consumers’ and producers’ goods, and of the consumer goods, again, between essential and non-essential articles of consumption.

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