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 founder-editor of the People’s Archive of Rural India. He has been a rural reporter for decades and is the author of ‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’You can contact the author here: @PSainath_org

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
Gerry Condon
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
Weekend Edition
May 19, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Secret Sharer
Charles Pierson
Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes
Paul Street
How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
Andrew Levine
Legitimation Crises
Mike Whitney
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State 
Robert Hunziker
Early-Stage Antarctica Death Rattle Sparks NY Times Journalists Trip
Ken Levy
Why – How – Do They Still Love Trump?
Bruce E. Levine
“Hegemony How-To”: Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power
Robert Fisk
The Real Aim of Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
Christiane Saliba
Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Chris Gilbert
The Chávez Hypothesis: Vicissitudes of a Strategic Project
Howard Lisnoff
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
Brian Cloughley
Propaganda Feeds Fear and Loathing
Stephen Cooper
Is Alabama Hiding Evidence It Tortured Two of Its Citizens?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail