Written byGarima Bora ·
PM Narendra Modi yesterday said more people are paying taxes because they have faith their money is being used properly, but pitched for a system where citizens do a little more than honestly paying taxes.
Speaking at a town hall with IT professionals in New Delhi, he said future lies in technology which should be used to develop solutions for issues India is facing.
With the recent hike in retail fuel prices, Modi said moving to electric vehicles is an answer and wanted domestic entrepreneurs to develop low-cost, affordable battery, and charging system to quickly charge cars run on electricity.
India imports 83% of its oil needs and a spurt in international oil prices sent retail prices of petrol, diesel, and LPG to record highs this month.
Coming to income tax returns, during 2017-18 fiscal, the direct tax to GDP ratio at 5.98% is the best in the last 10 years.
There is a growth of more than 80% in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 (base year) to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18, according to the Finance Ministry.
Talking about a 'tax plus one' system where citizens do more towards society than just pay taxes, Modi said, "Paying tax is 'prakriti' (natural), not paying tax is 'vikriti' (deformity). But paying tax plus doing more is 'sanskriti' (culture)."
Modi said the tax paid is part of the system and social service is 'tax plus something'.
"We need to create that," Modi added.
"We have a culture where we like to only criticize business and industry. This isn't a line of thought I agree with," Modi said.
"We have seen today, in this town hall programme, how leading corporates are doing excellent social work," he added.
Modi said inclusive growth is the way ahead and it is important to create an India where everyone has equal opportunities.
Modi said the future lies in technology, which will empower India.
"We are living in an era of start-ups. Today, the world wants India to lead. But saving natural resources is a responsibility," he said.
Through volunteering efforts, a lot can be done in the agriculture sector. Youngsters must venture out and work for the welfare of farmers, he said.
The Prime Minister also appealed to the hard-working farmers to embrace drip irrigation. "We have become very careless when it comes to consumption of water," Modi said. "We need to conserve water and recycle water too," he added.
Modi said the symbol of the Swachh Bharat Mission is the spectacles of Mahatma Gandhi, who is the inspiration for a clean India. "We are fulfilling Bapu's vision," he said.
"On many occasions, what sarkar (government) can't do, sanskar (culture) can do. Let us make cleanliness a part of our value systems," he said as he preached "we first" rather than "I first".
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