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Budget Trivia (Part VI): I have the task to make something easy that Einstein found difficult - said Jaswant Singh referring to which component of budget?

Encompassing over 70 years of history of independent India, in our Budget Trivia series, we present to you 70 lesser-known facts about the Budget process

1997-98 || The media termed P Chidambaram’s 1997-98 as the “Dream Budget” because of a roadmap for economic reforms in India including lowering income tax rates, removal of the surcharge on corporate taxes, and reduced corporate tax rates. This budget is also known for launching a major anti-black money scheme. What was the scheme? Ans: Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS), where people were given an opportunity to disclose hidden income by paying 30 percent tax on the value of undeclared money. (Image source: Reuters)
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1997-98 || The media termed P Chidambaram’s 1997-98 as the “Dream Budget” because of a roadmap for economic reforms in India including lowering income tax rates, removal of the surcharge on corporate taxes, and reduced corporate tax rates. This budget is also known for launching a major anti-black money scheme. What was the scheme? Ans: Voluntary Disclosure of Income Scheme (VDIS), where people were given an opportunity to disclose hidden income by paying 30 percent tax on the value of undeclared money. (Image source: Reuters)

1998-99 || Finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s first full budget had launched two specific schemes to woo NRIs to park funds in India. What were these schemes? Ans: The Unit Trust of India’s (UTI) India Millennium Scheme by open for subscription in dollars only by NRIs. The money collected was invested in Indian schemes. The other scheme was the State Bank of India’s (SBI’s) Resurgent India Bonds denominated in foreign currencies for subscription by NRIs. The funds collected under these bonds were poured into infrastructure projects. (Image source: Reuters)
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1998-99 || Finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s first full budget had launched two specific schemes to woo NRIs to park funds in India. What were these schemes? Ans: The Unit Trust of India’s (UTI) India Millennium Scheme by open for subscription in dollars only by NRIs. The money collected was invested in Indian schemes. The other scheme was the State Bank of India’s (SBI’s) Resurgent India Bonds denominated in foreign currencies for subscription by NRIs. The funds collected under these bonds were poured into infrastructure projects. (Image source: Reuters)

2000-01 || An additional 5 percent surcharge imposed on people with an annual income of more than Rs 1.5 lakh in this budget soon came to be described by a different name. What was it? Ans: It came be known as the Kargil Tax, as it was essentially aimed to partly offset the cost of the Kargil War incurred in 1998-99. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
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2000-01 || An additional 5 percent surcharge imposed on people with an annual income of more than Rs 1.5 lakh in this budget soon came to be described by a different name. What was it? Ans: It came be known as the Kargil Tax, as it was essentially aimed to partly offset the cost of the Kargil War incurred in 1998-99. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

2001-02 || This budget introduced a widely used global concept aimed to plug tax evasion by companies using sister concerns. Which is this concept? Ans: Transfer Pricing Regulations. This regulation played a big role in the prevention of erosion of the tax base in India.
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2001-02 || This budget introduced a widely used global concept aimed to plug tax evasion by companies using sister concerns. Which is this concept? Ans: Transfer Pricing Regulations. This regulation played a big role in the prevention of erosion of the tax base in India.

2002-03 || Yashwant Sinha’s last budget also is known for a not-so-famous distinction. What is it? Ans: It has the distinction for maximum rollbacks in the Union Budget. (Image source: Reuters)
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2002-03 || Yashwant Sinha’s last budget also is known for a not-so-famous distinction. What is it? Ans: It has the distinction for maximum rollbacks in the Union Budget. (Image source: Reuters)

2003-04 || Finance minister Jaswant Singh referred to Albert Einstein stating that he endeavoured to make easy something that which Einstein found so difficult. What was he referring to? Ans: Income tax. Albert Einstein had ruefully observed that he found ‘Income Tax the most difficult thing upon Earth to understand’. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
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2003-04 || Finance minister Jaswant Singh referred to Albert Einstein stating that he endeavoured to make easy something that which Einstein found so difficult. What was he referring to? Ans: Income tax. Albert Einstein had ruefully observed that he found ‘Income Tax the most difficult thing upon Earth to understand’. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

2004-05 || While launching a raft of new rural development programmes, Finance minister P Chidambaram’s first budget of the UPA 1 government used the name of a famous programme under US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Which scheme is this? Ans: New Deal for Rural India. President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched a group of US government programmes called the New Deal to help the country recover from the economic problems of the Great Depression in the 1930s. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)
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2004-05 || While launching a raft of new rural development programmes, Finance minister P Chidambaram’s first budget of the UPA 1 government used the name of a famous programme under US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Which scheme is this? Ans: New Deal for Rural India. President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched a group of US government programmes called the New Deal to help the country recover from the economic problems of the Great Depression in the 1930s. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 2005-06 || The second budget of the UPA 1 government was famous for the launch a famous welfare scheme as well as two controversial tax proposals. One of the tax proposals forced companies to restructure salaries of their employees, while the other was an anti-black money measure. What is the welfare scheme and what are the tax proposals? Ans: The government launched the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which is now the world’s largest rural job guarantee scheme. Finance minister P Chidambaram also announced a Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) that made perquisites (perks) taxable. He also announced a banking cash transaction tax (BCTT) that made cash withdrawals from banks above a certain threshold on a single day taxable. Both these taxes were withdrawn after a few years. (Image source: Reuters)
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2005-06 || The second budget of the UPA 1 government was famous for the launch a famous welfare scheme as well as two controversial tax proposals. One of the tax proposals forced companies to restructure salaries of their employees, while the other was an anti-black money measure. What is the welfare scheme and what are the tax proposals? Ans: The government launched the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which is now the world’s largest rural job guarantee scheme. Finance minister P Chidambaram also announced a Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) that made perquisites (perks) taxable. He also announced a banking cash transaction tax (BCTT) that made cash withdrawals from banks above a certain threshold on a single day taxable. Both these taxes were withdrawn after a few years. (Image source: Reuters)

2006-07 || This budget, for the first time, set a roadmap for a systemic tax overhaul by 2010. The reform billed as the most ambitious in independent India, was eventually rolled out seven years after the first target date. Which reform is this? Ans: Goods and Services Tax
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2006-07 || This budget, for the first time, set a roadmap for a systemic tax overhaul by 2010. The reform billed as the most ambitious in independent India, was eventually rolled out seven years after the first target date. Which reform is this? Ans: Goods and Services Tax

2007-08 || This budget had a proposal to keep track on investments made in non-financial and non-realty assets to evade taxes. What was the measure? Ans: It imposed capital gains to include certain works of art like sculpture and paintings. (Image source: Reuters)
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2007-08 || This budget had a proposal to keep track on investments made in non-financial and non-realty assets to evade taxes. What was the measure? Ans: It imposed capital gains to include certain works of art like sculpture and paintings. (Image source: Reuters)

First Published on Feb 1, 2018 06:30 am
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