Replying to a discussion on the Finance Bill, Sitharaman said India was probably the only country that did not resort to new taxes to fund the recovery of the economy hit by the COVID pandemic.
She said that according to an OECD report, as many as 32 countries have increased the tax rates after the pandemic.
“Instead, we put more money where multiplier effect would be maximum,” she said while referring to the Budget’s focus on raising capital expenditure.
The Budget 2022-23 raised Capex by 35.4 per cent to Rs 7.5 lakh crore to continue the public investment-led recovery of the pandemic battered economy.
Observing that the Modi government believes in lowering taxes, she said the reduction in corporate tax has “helped the economy, government and companies, and we are seeing the progress”. She said Rs 7.3 lakh crore has been collected as corporate tax so far this fiscal.
The number of taxpayers has increased to 9.1 crore from 5 crore a few years back, she said, adding the government is taking steps to widen the tax base and the faceless assessment has been received well by people.
Responding to the concerns expressed by members on imposing customs duty on umbrella, she said it was done to encourage domestic manufacturing by MSMEs.
She further said that IFSC in Gujarat is making steady progress, and several global funds and insurance companies are setting up offices in the International Financial Services Centre at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).