Bharat's Taxation System and Delivery of Promises
Bharat has seen number of leaders and politicians promising moons and stars to the public and once the election is over, the delivery of those promises are rarely seen. There is a huge importance put in for bhoomi-poojan, a traditional way of announcing the infrastructure work but less importance is given to the completion of work or the way it is completed. At times, bureaucracy goofs up and some times leaders. Public observe the system fail in providing basic necessities and social safety net which make them pessimistic about the politics and lot of people who are willing to be a part of the taxation system try and avoid paying taxes seeing that tax-payers money is either wasted or siphoned away by the corrupt elements.
Goods and Service Tax (GST) has brought some change to the taxation system and hopefully, we will have more people participating in tax system but again unless, we see delivery of better quality of services delivery in public domain, people will try and see that they do get away without paying taxes. I really feel that leaders should take people in confidence that if they pay taxes, things will get delivered well.
One of the promises in almost every elections in the past is that of getting black money back into the system over which many elections have been fought and had became a deciding factor of winning and losing the election. Interestingly, apart from other revenue streams, tax revenue has been the largest contributor to the state as well as central governments' revenue. That means to carry out any progressive work, government needs to earn through taxes and spend it on the projects.
So how do we ensure that promises made are either delivered or at least not used for wrong reasons? how do we also bring enthusiasm among people to pay taxes in time and as transparently as possible?
I propose three ideas -
- Similar to the penalties applied to the corporates or to an individual for not complying legally for any matters, there should be penalties to bureaucrats as well as to the politicians or stakeholders for not completing promises in time or for not finishing the work with quality.
- What I have observed is mostly bureaucrats are the ones who do the work on the ground and it is very unfortunate that we have caste reservation in the government jobs, we see lot of non-deserving people at the top position. I suggest that salaries could be given as per the higher position but let's not give top positions based on caste or just based on seniority but it should be given based on capability, credentials and talent.
- Last and the hardest one, let the local body, state government come up with project planning and respective cost and make an appeal to the people for tax collection amount against the work to be done. For example, if a local municipality wants to build a fly-over bridge, it does a planning and propose a budget against which people contribute through taxes to that particular work.