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Last Updated : Feb 07, 2020 09:10 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Government not interested in playing role of big brother: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Sitharaman said that the government has taken many steps to move towards a simplified tax regime.


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 7 said that the government has no intention of playing the role of "big brother".

"The government is a facilitator. The taxpayer is capable of taking a call on where he wants to put his money," Sitharaman said, adding that directing savings through one route and not another is no longer relevant.

Speaking to the media in Mumbai for a post-Budget interaction, Sitharaman explained that the abolishment of the Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) would put more money in the hands of the shareholder, particularly the middle-class shareholder, as they would be taxed at the "applicable" tax rate, which would be lower than the 15 to 20 percent tax rate that was earlier charged on the company level.

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Sitharaman said that the government has taken many steps to move towards a simplified tax regime.

When asked about the LIC IPO, Sitharaman said: "We are looking at an IPO for LIC which will bring retail investors into the picture."

Sitharaman in her Budget speech had said the government intends to raise funds by selling part of its stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) through an initial public offer (IPO).

Sitharaman also said that infrastructure creation has both short term and long term benefits, and that the government has worked with states and private investors to come up with a pipeline that will invest in infrastructure creation.

Sitharaman also said that there was no trust deficit on the matter of banks in handing out loans. Rather banks were apprehensive that they could be hauled up if their bona fide commercial decisions went wrong, and that the government had addressed these concerns.

The Finance Minister, in December last year, had assured the bankers that a distinction would be made between genuine commercial failures and culpability last month in a meeting with heads of the public sector banks (PSBs), which was also attended by the CBI Director.

She had also told bankers that the CBI will have discussions, and workshops with the bank officials from the level of vigilance officers, senior managers to general managers to explain and eliminate apprehension from their minds.

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First Published on Feb 7, 2020 04:51 pm
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