July 20, 2024
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Business Finance

Nirmala Sitharaman Faces Backlash Over Tax Response

Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman faced significant backlash on social media due to her cryptic response to a question regarding high taxes on stock market brokers and real estate transactions. The incident occurred at an event at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) where a stockbroker raised concerns about the heavy tax burden imposed by the government on stock market transactions and property purchases. The broker highlighted that while investors take substantial risks, the government, described as a “sleeping partner,” reaps substantial profits through various taxes such as GST, IGST, Stamp Duty, Securities Transaction Tax (STT), and Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) Tax.

The broker’s query also extended to the real estate sector, questioning the extensive taxes involved in purchasing a house, including Stamp Duties and GST. The broker emphasized the difficulties faced by individuals with limited resources in affording a home and the challenges brokers encounter due to the multitude of taxes, asserting that the government, as a passive participant, disproportionately benefits from the profits.

In response, Nirmala Sitharaman remarked with a smile, “A sleeping partner cannot answer sitting here.” This comment quickly drew strong criticism on Reddit, where users expressed their disappointment with the minister’s seemingly dismissive attitude towards a serious issue. Many netizens anticipated a more substantial and thoughtful response from Sitharaman, given the significant impact of high taxes on investors and homebuyers.

The discontent on social media reflected a broader frustration with the financial burdens placed on those participating in the stock market and real estate markets. Critics argued that such heavy taxation stifles investment and creates barriers for homeownership, particularly for those with limited financial means.

During the same event, Sitharaman also urged the BSE to collaborate closely with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to bolster investor confidence through stringent compliance and robust regulatory standards. This appeal underscored the importance of maintaining high standards in capital markets to protect investors and ensure market integrity.

Overall, the incident highlighted the growing concerns among investors and homebuyers about the tax policies and their implications on financial activities and economic participation. Sitharaman’s response, viewed as inadequate by many, brought these issues into sharper focus, prompting calls for more comprehensive and empathetic solutions from the government.

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