Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the media, Tuesday, after presenting the 2022-2023 Union Budget.
Sitharaman started off by saying, “I have not tried to earn even a single paisa by increasing tax this year and even last year. PM had given clear instructions that people should not be burdened with taxes at the time of the pandemic, notwithstanding the deficit”.
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She clarified, “What RBI will issue is a digital currency. Everything that prevails outside of it is assets being created by individuals and we are taxing profits made out of transactions of those assets, at 30%”.
Sitharaman also went on to say that the government is tracking “every trail of money in that (transaction of crypto assets) by imposing 1% TDS at every transaction”.
However, Sitharaman was unwilling to discuss what’s a digital asset, and how it can be described. She said that the stakeholder session would shed more clarity on the matter.
Finance Minister says that employment took a hit, like the rest of the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Atmanirbhar Bharat project ensured that several had jobs. Those who have been hit will now be helped by the government, so they can get back on their feet.
Sitharaman mentioned that inflation and unemployment were tackled well by the present government. Earlier it was in a double-digit range, but this time, it was not allowed to hit the mark. She conceded that it did breach the 6% limit for a month, but never crossed it.
On being asked about black money, Sitharaman responded “After 2018, information is being shared on black money by foreign countries. On bases of this info, we’re working account by account for black money to be brought. NPAs in banks are coming down, banks getting the money back of those who’ve fled country”.
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Responding to Congress member Rahul Gandhi’s critique of the budget, the FM said that his understanding of the budget was not correct. She expressed pity for those who come up with quick comments showing a lack of understanding of the issue. She also said that Congress left the economy in a fragile state.
The Finance Minister also received a question about what the new legislation would be about SEZs. While Sitharaman didn’t clarify it, saying that details would arrive with the new legislature, she stated the broad aim was to let states have greater participation.