Middle class will now have more money in hand to spend, says Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media in Mumbai on Friday after holding an interactive session to discuss the budget proposals unveiled on February 1. The session was attended by academicians, professionals, economists and journalists.
Sitharaman is said to be holding three such consultations with various stakeholders. Today’s is the first of them. The other two interactions will reportedly be held in Chennai and Kolkata to interact with industry, economists, trade bodies and farmers.
“We wish to decriminalise laws. We started with the Companies Act and now are looking at the Income Tax Act,” said Sitharaman, adding that the government wants to ensure that civil offences are not treated as criminal offences.
The Finance Minister also said that the intent of Narendra Modi’s government is to move towards simplification of the tax regime.
Regarding the LIC stake sale announcement that was made in the Union budget last week, Sitharaman said, “The proposed IPO will bring retail investors into the picture and make issues more transparent.” There are speculations in the market that if this IPO takes place, it may become the biggest IPO in India.
“After the new proposed income tax rules in the Finance Bill, the middle class will have more money in their hands to spend,” said Sitharaman adding that a large section of the middle class will pay tax on dividends at a lower rate.