Pranab says it's time to bite the bullet on subsidies

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Pranab says it's time to bite the bullet on subsidies

Tuesday 08 May 2012

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday replied to the Finance Bill in Lok Sabha, pointing that oil prices were mounting everyday. Asserting that the government had the capacity to respond to any challenge, he said that subsidies constituted a major part of it.

Addressing the House, the Finance Minister said that there was a need for all the stake holders to get going together to improve the situation, recalling that economic liberalisation was made possible only because all the partners, including opposition, came together.

He further said that the country was not immune to the situation abroad. Pointing that two major economic crises had taken place in the world in the recent times, Pranab said “we are not living in isolation, what takes place abroad affects us also”.

“The world economy is changing, situations are different today,” said Pranab.

He said fiscal consolidation was impossible without the help of the Opposition.

The Finance Minister also justified retrospective tax law change which would make Vodafone liable to pay taxes worth over Rs 10,000 crore.

He said, “India cannot be allowed to become a tax haven just to attract foreign investment…India is not inferior to any other country in respect of having retrospective changes in tax laws.”

Pranab further said that the legislature has the right to amend laws to correct Supreme Court judgement.

The Finance Bill was passed on Tuesday.

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