I was surfing news channels today to get a glimpse of what is happening in my country, India. I stopped at one particular channel just to catch up the breaking news which was flashing on-screen. What was the news? ” Service tax revised”, in fact to put it correctly it should be “raised” in place of “revised”. Raised from 14.5% to 15%. That news raised my eyebrow and my heart exclaimed “again?”. Its been third time in a span of two years governance when the service tax has been revised, no raised. That news left my brain baffled and heart fuming in anger. You all might be wondering I am creating a hill out of a mole, but believe me today every “middle” class Indian must be reacting in the same way as I am doing right now. Reason: Extra hole burnt in the pocket. Now simplest leisure like having dinner out in a restaurant once in a while would be an even more costlier affair. Every single service we take we have to shell out more. High rate of inflation for basic commodities has already left us in lurch. With our disturbed monthly budgets an unexpected guest at home is more of a shock than surprise for us.
Yes all this fiasco makes us angry. But we are trying to come up in terms with the changed numbers both in our monthly budgets and national budgets. But what infuriate us more is the indifferent behavior of those who sketch and enforce reforms (fiscal, economical or other). Every time a budget is introduced, a change is made, efforts are being made to attract the super rich or the poor. Rich from investment (in economy) point of view and the poorest of poor from vote bank point of view but the class that stands nowhere is our “middle” class. Our role in economy/ in country is to pay taxes and go on doing so without expectations from the government be it of any political party.
We don’t want subsidies of any kind because they should reach the more deserving people, poorest (only economic terms) part of the strata. But definitely we want prices of something as basic as tea powder or pulses to be controlled. On this note it sometimes also make me laugh that government keeping no tab on flaring prices of basic commodities but reducing the prices of luxury cars. I am no economist but can definitely understand one thing clearly a person who can afford to buy a luxury car worth 10 lakhs can afford to shell out few more thousands for the same. Any change in north or south direction won’t affect his/ her decision. But for a salaried person a 15-20% change (increase) in prices of commodities and services effects very badly.
On being questioned every minister in charge of finance department, every economist answers, rather very casually “its the need of the hour; government is devoid of funds; in a more sarcastic manner they eonquestion if a person can afford going to a restaurant why can’t he afford to pay service tax? And many more statements that question our intelligence and put our patience to test.
For once we can agree with your points but for years our question is why every last drop of our blood is being squeezed in the form of taxes and more taxes and even more taxes. We agree that paying taxes is indispensable for running a country and we, the salaried class can never evade this tax net. But what about the parallel economy run on the heaps of black money. For years all the promises to retrieve the same are falling flat on face. Nothing has been done to punish such culprits but every government is swearing to make life of common (middle class) man miserable and they are fulfilling them without fail. And then they say our anger is baseless. I agree to disagree.
I am sure this is not story of my country but could be a possible situation in many in fact in developed countries as well.
I am writing only to vent my anger. I am angry, we are angry and want our voices to be heard and felt as well.