New Delhi, February 13: "While the previous governments had hesitated to touch the country's taxation system, the current BJP-led dispensation was making it more citizen centric", PM Modi said on Wednesday, urging people to pay their dues for the development of India.
Speaking at the Times Now Summit here, he said the concern was that as some people always found ways to evade taxes, the honest got penalised. "All governments hesitated to touch the tax system. We are making it citizen centric.... India has become one of the very few countries to have a transparent taxpayers' charter that will clearly define the rights of taxpayers. I want to assure you that tax harassment will be a thing of the past in our country," Modi said.
He lamented that when a number of people did not pay tax and found ways to evade it, "the burden falls on those who honestly pay their dues". The prime minister said it was unbelievable but true that only 2,200 people in the country had declared earnings of Rs one crore per annum.
He further noted that this was the first time any government had focussed on smaller cities to push for economic development. All citizens who could afford to pay taxes should pay them honesty for the welfare of those who had made them capable of it, Modi said, adding that it should be done with a sense of duty and pride.
"India will not waste time now, it will surge ahead with confidence.... The Union budget will help achieve the target of a USD 5 trillion economy," he said. The prime minister said as citizens, when the duties that the country expected us to perform were fulfilled, the country also got new strength and energy. This new energy and new power would take India to new heights in this decade as well, he added.