So, he does it again! Yes, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has again caught the eye of the nation and its media by his, relevant or irrelevant we will try to understand, comment and proposition on the economic reforms of our nation India. If we track down Baba’s previous instances of 5-6 years we will see that Baba has made such various, out of his domain, comments in his yoga gatherings. His ‘famous’ incident, where he ran away at midnight wearing female clothes when police raided on his public gathering which was against the corrupt government, got him the maximum media coverage. What is with Baba that whatever he does becomes headlines or to put in other words; controversies follow him everywhere or vice versa.
The recent proposition which Baba has made is on India’s taxation situation. Before proceeding any further, let us understand what Baba has in mind and what does it states-
The current taxation policy needs to be abolished and a new taxation system should be availed for the proper transaction of money, which will put an end or at least curb the black money situation.
The model –
On every receiving end a minimal of 2% would be deducted from the cash received via a bank transaction. For example, if we consider that person A receives a salary of rs100, then rs2 (2%) will be deducted from the cash received. This 2% will be the tax deducted from person A’s account, further person A need not pay any tax annually. The amount deducted will be distributed into four segments, for example if we consider the distribution of rs2; the central government will be receiving 70 paise, state government 60 paise, bank commission 35 paise and local body tax 35 paise.
Now let us take some facts into consideration; this model has not been implemented in any country except Brazil, which too closed down this model after an experimental failure. So, why Baba is forcing this and why does he wants this model to be made applicable on Indian citizens? So, here are a couple of concerns of Baba; first and foremost is the issue of curbing black money and secondly, collecting taxes properly from each section of the society who is capable enough of opening a bank account. Baba is, as always, very much concerned and is right but what probably lacks is, problem lies within the model itself if we introspect it minutely keeping the broader vision aside for a moment. For example, if a student stays far away from his/her parents and the parents send him/her money for his fees or rent or spending, a 2% would be deducted from his/her account even he/she is not earning anything. Consider another example, if a villager with very minimal wages of rs100 to rs200 deposits the money on a weekly basis, a sum of rs14 to rs28 respectively would be deducted from the villagers account, which will sum up to rs112 monthly. This is a good enough amount for the villagewala to put it to good use who prior to this wasn’t coming under the tax slabs.
What did the media do with this story? Well the media connected Baba to BJP and projected the news as one of the gimmick before 2014 lok sabha polls. But in this amidst of all this, I got some good two day 1 hour show on NDTV India by Ravish Kumar discussing on his show Prime Time and trying to get something out of it. Well the show was a bit noisy as all were trying to debate and prove their points and seemed less interested in listening, still the show highlighted the need of us being educated about our economic policies.
Coming back to Baba, he is completely out of his domain. He is a yoga expert and it is much appreciated that he is concerned about the nation’s future but shouldn’t he contribute via his yoga, in which he is best. He raises question, demands answers and like all other citizens protest if he doesn’t get the reply. But economic reform! Really? Baba this for sure is not your cup of tea and for your betterment I would request you to stick to your very own domain. I don’t deny the fact a measure needs to be taken to curb the black money and collect taxes but this model, which is rejected by every nation, why would an already in economic ‘not so stable’ India should imbibe this model? The model should be debated and should be welcomed by everyone for an open debate and understanding; at least this would help in economic literacy.
I want a few good open suggestions on this topic. It is good to understand economy and how it works and how any change affects us, the common man. Please pour in your opines on this topic, which surely is important for all of us to understand. And if you have any query you can write to me or ask any expert you know or even ask Baba Ramdev on this, I am sure he will clear your doubts!