“WATCH OUT!!”… There is a loud screeching of the tyres. And then, “BAM”… Somebody hit from behind. How often do you find yourself in similar situation while driving on Indian roads? You try to avoid sudden jerks because the road is not level, poorly constructed speed breakers, or the craters formed on the road due to rain or poor construction; but in vain. Thousands of accidents happen resulting in deaths or altercations. Despite all the complaints and statistics available with the government, no action is taken. After a long wait and lot of protest, a temporary patch is done: which stays for few days or weeks. This is just the basic introduction about roads, one of the necessities which every city and its residents have, should have.
We are living in a country where basic infrastructure is at its bare minimum; slightly more in metros perhaps. However, we pay a huge sum of our hard earned money as taxes, desperately hoping that situation will change at some point in time and like all other developed countries we’ll be able to reap the benefits of our investment. If claims by independent analysts are to be believed, named amongst few of the wealthiest governments, Indian government can function without collecting taxes for few years.
In spite of everything, we pay salary taxes based on the tax slab. Then there is tax on everything else. In fact there is a tax on savings, if it goes beyond mere 10k a year. What are you hoping to achieve with that? In a typical (middle class – working) household, a major chunk of monthly income goes into loan repayment; I would say about 60%. Then, nearly 20% or more goes in to house expenses. Of course, there are other expenses which will always come up, no matter what. Ideally, you are left with 5-10% of your monthly as savings. Not to mention that you have to pay for your insurance and other investments from this amount, so that you can save taxes. And this is when you don’t have kids. Effectively, you are burnt out and left with almost nothing.
All this without anything in return seems a complete loss. I would’ve been able to understand if, at least, the government was providing a better roadways, global connectivity, health care, education, and so many other things which countries even less well off (financially) than ours enjoy. It’ll be nothing short of a miracle if I see all this within this lifetime.
Anyway, my point is not to create a sudden awakening, rather a question if we can have a no tax system or a single tax system. A system where you need to pay taxes just once, maybe an income tax, and then don’t pay for any other service or utility. The people who are providing there services or utilities should be liable to taxes at their end and not transfer the burden to consumers. Government can’t provide all the facilities to billions of people, but can help them in individual wealth creation and help them to lead a healthy life. Arguably, there are lot of wealthy people here and they will continue to find ways to beat the system. But who will think about the vast majority who can’t be classified as high net worth individuals.
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
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