New Delhi, Mar 1: Rebutting criticism that proposals in the Budget for 2015-16 are pro-corporate and anti-poor, government said the views are "completely wrong and ill founded" and not backed by any data.
"They (critics) are completely wrong...it is ill founded, misguided and certainly not backed up with any data," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told PTI in an interview.
He was responding to the criticism that the first full- year budget of the NDA government, presented in Parliament yesterday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, is "pro-corporate and unkind to poor".
Former Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has said that the budget proposal to reduce corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent would benefit the corporate to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore in taxes every year for the next four years. According to Sinha, the proposed reduction of the corporate tax from 30 per cent to 25 per cent over a period of four years was a "revenue neutral" exercise as the companies were going to lose all exemptions in the process.
"Right now, they (corporates) are not paying 30 per cent taxes, they are actually paying 23 per cent taxes. Effectively we are going to get rid of all those exemptions over a period of time. They have some time to adjust and their taxes are going to become 25 per cent," he said.
Anyway, he added, the idea behind the move was not to raise taxes but to "remove distortions and inconveniences" and make the taxation system simple and predictable and improve the ease of doing business. "So, in that sense I totally reject the criticism that it is pro-corporate. It's very much pro-people," he said, adding that the other major beneficiary would be the middle class.