FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

India, Where Corporate Socialism is a Growth Industry

by

It was business as usual in 2013-14. Business with a capital B. This year’s budget document says we gave away another $88.6 billion to the corporate needy and the under-nourished rich in that year.  Well, it says $95.3 billion  but I’m  leaving out the $6.6 billion foregone on personal income tax since that write-off benefits a wider group of people. The rest is mostly about a feeding frenzy at the corporate trough. And, of course, that of other well-off people. The major write-offs come in direct corporate income tax, customs and excise duties.

If you think sparing the super-rich  taxes and duties worth $ 88.6 billion is  a trifle excessive, think again.  The amount we’ve written off for them since 2005-06 under the very same heads is well over $ 608.3 billion.  (A sixth of that in just corporate income tax). That’s  608300000000 wiped  off for the big boys in nine years.  .


With  $ 608 billion  –   for that is what it is  –   you could:

·

* Fund the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for around 105 years, at present levels.  That’s more than any human being could expect to live. And a hell of a lot more than any agricultural labourer would. You could, in fact,  run the MNREGS on that sum, across the working lives of  two generations of such labourers. The current allocation for the scheme is around $5.6 billion.

* Fund the Public Distribution System (PDS)  for 31 years. (Current allocation $19.1 billion).

By the way, if these revenues had been realized, around 30 per cent of their value would have devolved to the states. So the fiscal health of the states is affected by the Centre’s massive corporate karza maafi ( tax waivers). 

Even just the amount foregone in 2013-14 could fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades. Or the PDS for four-and-a-half years. It is also over four times the ‘losses’ of the Oil Marketing Companies by way of  so-called ‘under-recoveries’ in 2012-13

Look at some of the  exemptions under customs duty.  There’s a neat  $8.1 billion written off on ‘Diamonds and Gold.’ Hardly a common man or common woman’s items. And more than what we spend on rural jobs.  Fact: concessions on diamonds and gold over the past  36 months total $26.6 billion.  (A lot more than we’ll spend on the PDS in the coming year). In the latest figures, it accounts for 16 per cent of the total revenue foregone.

The breakdown of the budget’s revenue foregone figure of $95.3 billion for 2013-14 is  interesting.  Of this, $12.6 billion was written off on just direct corporate income tax.  More than twice that sum ($32.5 billion)  was foregone on Excise Duty. And well over three times the sum was sacrificed in Customs Duty ($43.3 billion).

This, of course, has been going on for many years in the neo-liberal  ‘reforms’ period. But the budget only started carrying the data on revenue foregone around 2006-07. Hence the $608 billion write-off figure. It would be higher had we the data for earlier years. (All of this, by the way, falls within the UPA period). And the trend in this direction only grows. As the budget document itself recognizes, “the total revenue foregone from central taxes is showing an upward trend. “

It sure is. The amount written off in 2013-14 shows an increase of 132 per cent compared to the same concessions in  2005-06.

So who says Industry has been slow on growth? Corporate tax waivers are a growth industry, and an efficient one.

P. SAINATH is the rural affairs editor of The Hindu, and is the author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought. He can be reached at: psainath@mtnl.net.in

P. SAINATH is the rural affairs editor of The Hindu, and is the author of Everybody Loves a Good Drought. He can be reached at: psainath@mtnl.net.in

More articles by:
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Renee Parsons
Blame It on the Russians
Herbert Dyer, Jr.
Is it the Cops or the Cameras? Putting Police Brutality in Historical Context
Russell Mokhiber
Dems Dropping the N Word: When in Trouble, Blame Ralph
Howard Lisnoff
The Elephant in the Living Room
Pepe Escobar
The Real Secret of the South China Sea
Ramzy Baroud
Farewell to Yarmouk: A Palestinian Refugee’s Journey from Izmir to Greece
John Laforge
Wild Turkey with H-Bombs: Failed Coup Raise Calls for Denuclearization
Dave Lindorff
Moving Beyond the Sanders Campaign
Jill Richardson
There’s No Such Thing as a “Free Market”
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan Moves Against the Gulen Movement in Turkey
Winslow Myers
Beyond Drift
Edward Martin - Mateo Pimentel
Who Are The Real Pariahs This Election?
Jan Oberg
The Clintons Celebrated, But Likely a Disaster for the Rest of the World
Johnny Gaunt
Brexit: the British Working Class has Just Yawned Awake
Mark Weisbrot
Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Both Bad Politics and Bad Strategy
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Think Three’s a Crowd? Try 2,000
Corrine Fletcher
White Silence is Violence: How to be a White Accomplice
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail