According to reports, the government is mulling one-time coronavirus relief cess of upto 2 per cent to garner revenue in the Union Budget for 2021-22.
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Reports say the cess will be imposed on taxable income on those who earn above Rs 10 lakh. The Indian Revenue Service (IRS) had last year proposed 4 per cent “Covid relief cess” in April as India entered lockdown.
IRS officers had said in its report that it could fetch the exchequer between ₹15,000 crore and ₹18,000 crore. The IRS had also proposed a new tax saving scheme “Covid savings certificates” for investments up to ₹2,50,000 with a 5-year lock-in period.
Experts had also proposed cess on tobacco products amid the pandemic. Several states had imposed COVID tax to boost revenue stream as health services felt the pressure.
The Jharkhand government had introduced COVID cess on minerals and the Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal government had imposed 70 per cent corona cess on liquor which was later withdrawn.
India is set to begin its vaccination drive on January 16 as Asia’s third-largest economy has been gradually recovering from a coronavirus-induced recession as the virus shrank the economy in the last two quarters.
According to SBI (State Bank of India) research, the government would need Rs 21,000-27,000 crore to vaccinate 30 crore people in the first phase and would need another Rs 35,000-45,000 crore to vaccinate 50 crore people which is around 0.3-0.4 per cent of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The government will present its Budget on February 1.