Levying legitimate taxes is not terrorism: Jaitley

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Legitimate taxes must be paid and should not be perceived as “tax terrorism,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday.

While pursuing tax-related cases, the fairness of the government has been partly misunderstood, he said and stressed that while India does not practise tax terrorism, it is not a tax haven either.

He was speaking at the national conference and annual session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

The government, he said, aimed at creating a conducive business environment by addressing the challenges faced, especially with respect to taxation, the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, and corruption.

Reflecting on 10 months of the Modi government, Mr. Jaitley said in order to address the most important challenge of restoring India’s credibility, the Centre had decided to open up the economy further and raised foreign direct investment limits across several sectors. However, while that would enable investment, it was important to create an environment conducive to business, with focus on ease of doing business, he said.

To facilitate ease of doing business, the government was focusing on tax reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax and lowering of corporate tax rate. As for the land law, the Minister said the government was aware of the impact it would have on a large population and its potential to unleash productivity.