Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday clarified Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statements on tax collection from the capital market, saying they were “misunderstood by some sections of the media”. He explained that the government had no intention to target long-term investors in the country.
The prime minister had seemingly hinted at raising taxes for the capital markets ahead of the upcoming Budget Session. Jaitley, however, said that misinterpretation of Modi’s remarks had led some to begin speculating that “this is an indirect reference to the fact that there could be long-term capital gains on security transactions”.
“This interpretation is erroneous,” he said, adding that the prime minister had not made any such statements directly or indirectly. “There is no occasion or opportunity for anybody to reach such a conclusion.”
Modi had said on Saturday that his government was looking to execute “sound and prudent economic policies” that would benefit the country in the long term, suggesting in particular that he favours higher taxes from market participants. Modi had said that those who profit from the financial markets “must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes”.
“For various reasons, the tax contribution from those who make money from the markets has been low. To some extent, it may be due to illegal activities and fraud,” he had said, while defending his government’s widely-criticised move to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.