Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said on Friday that the Centre should take steps to reduce the tax burden on people. He made the remark at an event held to mark the 79th foundation ceremony of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in New Delhi, NDTV reported.

Bobde said that excessive taxation can be seen as a kind of social injustice imposed on the people. “While tax evasion is social injustice to fellow citizens, arbitrary or excessive tax also results in social injustice by the government itself,” Bobde said. The chief justice’s remarks come just a week before the government presents the Union Budget for 2020-’21 on February 1.

Bobde also praised the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal for its contribution to resolving tax-related disputes swiftly. “Tax judiciary plays a very important role in resource mobilisation of the country,” he said. “A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the taxpayer. To a tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary ensures that demands arising out of legitimate assessments are not strangled by delayed litigation.”

The growth rate of the Indian economy has plummeted over the last three years. In the second quarter of 2019-’20, the Gross Domestic Product recorded a six-year-low growth rate of 4.5%. The government has predicted that India will grow at just 5% for 2019-’20, the lowest in 11 years. Meanwhile, retail inflation rose to a five-and-half year high of 7.35% in December 2019.

The government had in September last year slashed the corporate tax rate for domestic firms from 35% to 22%.