Name roads after top taxpayers: Economic Survey

In order to increase tax compliance in the country, the Economic Survey has suggested initiatives to honour honest taxpayers.

Published: 05th July 2019 10:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2019 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian gestures as he addresses the media after annual Economic Survey 2017-18 was tabled in Parliament in New Delhi on Monday. | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In order to increase tax compliance in the country, the Economic Survey has suggested initiatives to honour honest taxpayers. It has also said that given the importance of religion in the Indian culture, the principles of behavioural economics need to be combined with “spiritual or religious norm” to reduce tax evasion and willful default in India.

Giving logic to this, the survey said that as people often indulge in conspicuous consumption to convey their social status, the top 10 highest taxpayers within a district can be highlighted and accorded due recognition.

Talking about the ways to accord due recognition the survey said, “This may take the form of expedited boarding privileges at airports, fast-lane privileges on roads and toll booths, special ‘diplomatic’ type lanes at immigration counters, etc.”

Further, the highest taxpayers over a decade could be recognised by naming important buildings, monuments, roads, trains, initiatives, schools and universities, hospitals and airports in their name. “The idea is to create exclusive membership of “clubs” that exude not only social status but also honour. Such steps can also help propagate the social norm that “paying taxes honestly is honourable,” said the survey.

READ HERE | General deficit at decade-low, will likely settle at 5.8 per cent of GDP in FY19: Economic Survey

The survey also talked about ‘doctrine of pious obligation’ saying every religion whether it is Hindu or Islam paying debt has been considered as pious. In Hinduism, non-payment of debts is a sin and also a crime. Similarly, Islam says that a person cannot enter paradise until his debt was paid off. All of his wealth could be used to pay the debt and if it is insufficient then one or more heirs of the deceased could voluntarily pay for him, mentioned the survey.

What the survey suggests

  • Privileges at the immigration counter, express boarding at airports, and even naming of roads, buildings and schools for top taxpayers

  • The highest taxpayers over a decade could be recognised by naming important buildings, monuments, roads, trains, initiatives, schools and universities, hospitals and airports after them, survey said

  • Creation of “exclusive membership of ‘clubs’ that exude not only social status but also honour”

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