New Delhi : Former finance minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday questioned where did the Union government spend the money earned from fuel taxes, adding that a huge portion of it was used to give concessions to the corporate.
In a series of tweets, Chidambaram referred to information shared by Kerala Finance Minister KN Balagopal, and said, “Kerala Finance Minister has disclosed the figures of taxes collected on petrol and diesel. Union Finance Minister should issue a reply if they are protesting”.
“The numbers show that Rs. 3,72,000 crore was collected in the form of excise duty, cess and additional excise duty in 2020-21. Out of this huge amount, only Rs 18,000 was collected as basic excise duty and 41 per cent of that amount was shared with the states. The remaining ₹3,54,000 crore went to the Centre,” Chidambaram said.
“This is the model of ‘cooperative federalism’ run by the Modi government. Apart from this, where and how and on whom was this huge amount of ₹ 3,54,000 crore spent? A portion of ₹1,45,000 crore was used to fill the gap created by reducing corporate taxes and paying corporates bonus” he said.
He also took a dig at the Union government and said India has become a ‘less cash economy’ as middle class and poor have no money to spend.
Giving the reference of Demonetisation, Chidambaram said, “Five years after the infamous demonetisation, what is the status of the tall announcements made by the Modi government? Mr Modi had earlier said that we should become a cashless economy! Within days he realized it was an absurd goal.”
“He revised the target to a low-cash economy,” he said.
He said the the time of demonetisation, the cash in circulation was around 18 lakh crores.
“Today it is 28.5 lakh crores”.
“Thanks to high unemployment and inflation, the poor and lower middle classes earn less cash and spend less cash. We have really become a less cash economy! Well done!” the Congress leader said.