This piece was published in Mint, a joint initiative of the Wall Street Journal and HT Media.
What are the three things you wish for from the Budget?
Tax rich farmers, do away with capital gain bonds especially for capital gains from sale of property, bring out a common card/ number for doing all financial transactions and social needs, and do away with need for different PAN, voter ID, mutual fund KYC norms, etc.
If you could end one thing, what would that be?
End subsidy on LPG for people living APL (above poverty line).
If you were finance minister, what would be the one thing outside your industry you would want in the budget?
Primary Education to be made compulsory for all at any cost as it is the sole reason for the growing problem of poverty, unemployment, population and social unrest.
What is the one thing you don’t want changed?
Continue exemption on long-term capital gains to facilitate wider stock market participation.
Which budget disappointed you the most? Why?
The Union budget 2007 since it was mostly a non-event and anti-reform due to political compulsions.
One proposal you think is shot down in every budget but shouldn’t be.
The issue of tax moderation, which makes relevance in today’s economy since due to inflation and rising incomes, tax slabs should be increased for focus on middle and higher income population.
What would you consider to be inclusive growth?
For having inclusive growth and financial inclusion, what we need is a framework where the rich and poor co-exist and achieve higher incomes, as without growth, there cannot be rise in income and growth can only happen once capitalists are given proper environment to work.