Caught in a number’s bind

August 21 2017


Now famous for its propensity of rattling out numbers, the Modi government has tripped on its own GON, Game of Numbers. In the unending controversy about demonetization, when the finance minister Arun Jaitley was asked about the benefits, he stumped everyone by saying that due to demonetization, 91 lakh new tax payers have come into the net. On the face of this, now resigned former NITI Aayog deputy chief Arvind Panagariya had told a newspaper that number of new tax payers was 5.8 lakhs, or close to one-twentieth of Jaitley’s dream figure. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Independence Day on August 15, multiplied Panagariya a mere ten times and said that number of new tax payers was 58 lakh. But it was still half of what Jaitley had claimed. Interestingly, where is all the new tax money, given that the Reserve Bank of India has halved its coffers to the Union government this year?

 
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