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Old 6th May 2014, 15:10   #526
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Default Re: Govt plans to impose additional levies on diesel cars

Forgive the following speech, the 'bhaashan' kindly. It is election season, no?:

There are many excellent grounds to tax petrol.

In India the most important is the relative efficiency and honesty of tax collection. All other taxes in India are easily evaded and avoided to the tune of at least 60-70% in aggregate.

We are a country with a pre-modern mentality when it comes to taxes: we, from the working man to the petty property dealer to the billionaire hate complying with the law. 'Taxes are the price of civilization'. We, almost all of us, can therefore be termed 'uncivilized', I am afraid. All our other deficits as a polity stem ultimately from this barbaric commitment to tax evasion. Which is why relatively regressive indirect taxes like the ones on cars and on fuel are over-relied upon by the political system and the state, rather than direct, progressive ones (on income, wealth, property and estate.)

Other grounds to tax fuel are pollution, efficiency, redistribution, energy security, deterrence of urban sprawl...

The efficiency and overall appropriateness of the use by the state of these taxes are A DIFFERENT subject altogether: namely, POLITICS, broadly understood. There must not be the 'politics' of self-interest over taxes: we must get over our aversion to paying the 'price of civilization'. Starting with..... Mukesh Ambani!
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