Expressing confidence in the taxpayers' right to choose, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Saturday, said that the government believed in reducing taxes and giving the individual the freedom to choose how to spend his earning while talking to Republic Media Network's Arnab Goswami. She also stated that corporates had freedom to choose their market pricing according to the tax regime, hence they have freedom to choose their investment. Sitharaman's second budget speech was the longest spanning 160 minutes.
When asked about taxpayers' spending power, she said, "We are opening up choices of an individual to spend money as they want by paying less tax." On being questioned on why not pass on the tax benefits to individuals rather with the example of crude oil industry, she said, "Oil marketing companies are free to do their pricing. Every 15 days they can assess and change the price." Talking about recovering investment in India, she added, "There are indications already. The investors are clear - they find India is the best place to invest.
Earlier in the interview, Sitharaman explained the motivation behind the new 'optional' tax regime. Listing putting money in the taxpayers' hands and taxation reform as the agenda, Sitharaman said that companies were free to move to the new exemption-less tax regime or stay in the old tax regime. Revealing her plan, she added that the government wished to move to an exemption-less tax system as the taxes will so low.
Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Union Budget for the year 2020-2021 on Saturday. Delivering the longest budget speech for over 160 minutes, Sitharaman announced a number of schemes and policies aimed at strengthening the economy under the Modi government. In a major decision, the Finance Minister announced a Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will be listed as part of the government disinvestment initiative and the government will sell also its stake in the IDBI bank.
The government also announced a new 'optional' tax regime by slashing income tax rates and abolished DDT. To safeguard investors she also announced an increase in insurance cover for each depositor from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The Finance Minister said that the three themes on which the Budget 2020 was based were: aspirational, economic development, caring society.