Rich must be prepared to be taxed more: Home minister

"We must raise the tax revenue to defend (the expected aggregate decline of resources). I know many people won't like this. But I think, I can summon the courage to make the statement," home minister P Chidambaram said at a function of All India Management Association in New Delhi

New Delhi: Home minister P Chidambaram, who as finance minister had slashed taxes, today suggested that rich should be taxed more even though 'many people' would not like the idea, reports PTI.

"We must raise the tax revenue to defend (the expected aggregate decline of resources). I know many people won't like this. But I think, I can summon the courage to make the statement," he said addressing a function of All India Management Association here.

Mr Chidambaram as the finance minister between May 2004 and November 2008 had slashed taxes and was credited with presenting a 'dream budget' in the initial years of his tenure in the finance ministry.

"I am (was) the finance minister who slashed your tax rates. Therefore ... you must be prepared to pay higher tax rates, especially the rich must be prepared to pay higher tax," he said.

The home minister said in Europe rich people were getting together to say, "please tax us more."

His suggestion is also in line with the move by US president Barack Obama who has proposed to tax rich for taking the American economy out of the financial troubles.

"Certainly this is not the place, nor I am the person to say what tax should be raised. But we should seriously consider how to raise the tax revenue of the country," Mr Chidambaram said, even as preparations for the next Budget (2012-13) have started.

Mr Chidambaram said that according to the Approach Paper (12th Plan), tax revenue is expected to rise from 7.4% in the current year to 8.9% next year and the non-tax revenue is expected to decline.

But, he said, 'the worrying part' is aggregate resources, that include tax revenue, non-tax revenue, non-debt capital revenue and borrowings, are expected to decline from 14% in the current year (2011-12) to 13.11% as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The home minister said while the actual difference would be marginal because of larger GDP, as a percentage of GDP, aggregate resources would decline.

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COMMENTS

Prakash

6 years ago

Mr PC, if you tax the 'rich' politicians and work towards bringing back stashed money by them, you will not have to look elsewhere and not make the rest of the nation bear the brunt or carry the burden.

High Court upholds validity of Singur Land Act

The Calcutta High Court held that if Tata Motors, which had shifted its Nano car plant from Singur to Sanand in Gujarat alleging political unrest, makes the application for compensation, the district judge would have to dispose it within six months

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today upheld as constitutional and valid the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 by which the West Bengal government vested the land leased to Tata Motors (TML), reports PTI.

Justice IP Mukerji, while upholding the validity of the Act, directed that compensation be paid to TML if it makes an application for it while noting that the district judge of Hooghly should determine the amount of compensation to be paid.

It held that if TML, which had shifted its Nano car plant from Singur to Sanand in Gujarat alleging political unrest, makes the application for compensation, the district judge would have to dispose it within six months.

Justice Mukerji stayed the application of the order till 2nd November to give the parties a fair chance to appeal before a higher court, if aggrieved with the order.

The court also appointed the district magistrate and SP of Hooghly district, within which Singur falls, as special officers to ensure smooth transfer of land from TML to the state in two months.

The court also upheld the vesting of the land given to vendors, who had also challenged the Act in a separate application.

Justice Mukerji disposed both the applications, by TML and the vendors, challenging the Singur Act which was notified on 21st June.

The government took possession of the Singur land totalling 997 acres on the evening of 21st June itself.

TML had challenged the Act before the high court on 22nd June, claiming that it was unconstitutional and as such vesting of the 600 acres of land leased to it was invalid.

Around 300 acres had been earmarked for the vendors.

The West Bengal government had acquired 997 acres of land at Singur besides Durgapur Expressway, about 50 km from here, in 2006 for the Tata Nano factory.

The Singur acquisition by the erstwhile Left Front government had led to a huge political unrest in the state over acquisition of fertile land, ripple effects of which were witnessed in other parts of the country as well.

Political analysts say that the Singur acquisition was the first stumbling block faced by the then CPI (M)-led Left Front government that led to its debacle in the elections ranging from the panchayat to the assembly.

The Trinamool Congress, which had led the movement against acquisition of fertile land, won the assembly elections by a landslide margin in May this year and the first legislation by it was the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011 by which it vested the land leased to TML as also to the vendors.

TML had moved its Nano plant from the state to Gujarat after it decided to shift the factory alleging political unrest and expressing apprehension for the safety of its workers and officials in October 2008.

Though TML shifted all the machinery from Singur, it maintained the leasehold of the land.

In reply to a letter by West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) in September 2010, TML had expressed its willingness to hand over the land to it provided it was suitably compensated.

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BP pushes for early govt nod on D6 satellite field development

"We are hopeful that the government will approve development of satellites and that is how you can bring gas production back up," Bob Dudley, the chief executive of BP Plc said in a TV interview

New Delhi: Fresh after getting approval for investing $7.2 billion in Reliance Industries' (RIL) oil and gas properties, BP Plc today pressed for an early government nod to develop satellite fields in the KG-D6 block and reverse sagging natural gas output from the prolific acreage, reports PTI.

Bob Dudley, the chief executive of Europe's second biggest oil company, arrived here yesterday evening on a two-day visit during which he will meet the virtual who's-who of the government-from prime minister Manmohan Singh to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and oil minister S Jaipal Reddy.

Before his Thursday visit to the KG-D6 fields, which has been at the centre of BP's $7.2 billion investment to buy a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas properties held by the Mukesh Ambani-run firm, Mr Dudley said the block holds the resources to get back to the planned 80 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of gas output.

"I think yes," he told NDTV in an interview when asked if there was enough gas in the block.

Referring to D6 as the 'Golden Block', he said: "D6 is a world class resource, but also a complex reservoir that needs high technology and risk taking."

"BP's great sub-surface exploration skill" can help Reliance get back the sagging output, he said.

There are more fields around the currently producing Dhirubhai-1 and 3 (D1 and D3) fields in block KG-DWN-98/3, or KG-D6, which need to be quickly brought to production.

"What we need to do now is develop those satellite fields... We are hopeful that the government will approve development of satellites and that is how you can bring gas production back up," he said.

Reliance has submitted a plan to invest over $1.5 billion in developing four satellite fields around D1 and D3 to produce up to 10 mmscmd of gas by 2016.

D1 and D3 have seen output drop to 36.5 mmscmd from 54 mmscmd in March last year instead of rising to 61.88 mmscmd as planned for the current year. Together with 7.4 mmscmd from the MA oilfield in the same block, the total gas production from KG-D6 currently is 43.9 mmscmd.

RIL has attributed the fall in output to a drop in reservoir pressure and water ingress, but upstream oil regulator DGH said the company has not drilled an adequate number of wells.

Mr Dudley stressed that approval for the satellite field development should come so that the winter-when weather does not permit drilling in Bay of Bengal-can be used for engineering and actual site work can begin when the weather window opens up early next year.

"I believe it will take to 2014 to get these kinds of structures developed and tied back into infrastructure. We can see the resources out there and I believe by 2014, we will be back up," he said.

Mr Dudley said production from KG-D6 will rise in 2014. Interestingly, 2014 is also when the price of gas from KG-D6 comes up for review. The government had fixed the KG-D6 gas price at $4.205 per million metric British thermal units (mmBtu) during the first five years of production. The KG-D6 fields began production in April, 2009.

"D6 is a world-class resource. But as always when you get into oilfields and gas fields, you are trying to imagine down miles under the sea, (but often) it is not quite as you expect. You find some surprises. So the field has declined and our teams and Reliance teams are working on that," he said.

Mr Dudley, however, said drilling more wells in the currently producing D1 and D3 fields are not the answer to the fall in production.

"People are advocating that we put more straws (wells) in it. But actually what is around (D1 and D3) are a few more (reservoirs). What we need to do now is develop those satellite fields and some R-series fields around it," he said.

"We are just getting in and looking at the economics now.

It is deepwater. It is lots of technology, it is high risk. I think they (satellite fields) should be economic. I am hopeful we will be able to find a way to make those economic," he said.

The priority for BP is to get KG-D6 production back to its envisaged levels.

"But for us, the priority working with RIL is to get gas production back up. It will take some time... So if we get these satellites going, we can restore this," he said.

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