An interaction was recently held between Sadhguru and the Hon’ble Members of the ITAT, senior officials of the Revenue Department and leading tax professionals. There was a lively debate on the various problems facing the Nation and how these problems can be overcome. Advocate Shashi Bekal has summarized the discussions between the various distinguished personalities and highlighted the core points made by them
An interaction between Sadhguru with the Hon’ble Member of ITAT, Revenue Department, and Tax professions. The Hon’ble President of the ITAT, Justice Mr. P. P. Bhatt, introduced Padma Vibhushan Shri Sadhguru ji, who is universally acknowledged for his wisdom and work. Former Chief Justice of India, Mr. Dipak Misra, Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand, Hon’ble Chief Justices and judges of various High Courts, Hon’ble members of the ITAT, Income tax officials, Senior Advocates, Advocates , Chartered Accountants and Tax consultants , were present. Further, he thanked Isha foundation helping organizing this event and achieving the ideology of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
Former Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Mr. Dipak Misra, addressed the webinar, he spoke about the need to be ambitious and productive during these times, and the importance of having a positive mindset. He quoted Abraham Lincoln, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”. Further, he urged people to leverage technology to feel connected and closer to one and other. In conclusion, he spoke about the feeling of pride for our nation, and that it should be a motivating factor for us to survive these difficult times.
Justice Mr. P. P. Bhatt, posed a question to Sadhguru regarding Nation building, to which Sadhguru ji brilliantly replied by drawing a contrast from western countries, he has asked and urged Indians to stick to our own culture and tradition. Further he believes Nation building at an individual level, with every person building themselves, we could together build a stronger nation.
Shri Anoop Kumar Mendiratta, Honourable Law Secretary posed a question to Sadhguru on resisting criticism received during Nation building, to which Sadhguru replied saying that there is no perfect decision, rather commitment is what is necessary
The Hon’ble Chairman of the CBDT Mr. Pramod Chandra Mody put across a question on how to reduce the trust deficit between the tax payer and taxman.
To which Sadhguru, with great humility and seeking permission to put across his views said that, less than 2 per cent of the Nation’s population pay income tax which stands to serve the remaining 98 per cent. As a tax payers, they would fell unjust upon losing 40 per cent of their earnings. It then becomes a tax professionals’ job to reduce this 40 per cent to 30 or 20 per cent. Fortunately, the rate of corporate tax reduce has been reduced recently.
Further, the Country needs investments, for improvement and development. Around 1 to 1.5 Trillion rupees of investment should flow into our country. Collection of taxes may not serve this purpose, with the increase in basic exemption, more people will fall off the tax paying bracket.
Moreover, a feeling of affinity is to be developed between the citizen and the Nation. During the erstwhile British regime, the District administrators were termed “Collectors” as it was their duty to collect the fund and send it back to their country. Unfortunately, the same term exists till date and the same psychology persists among tax payers. A person who evades tax is glorified. People are required to be honest, for which a sense of return is necessary.
As a solution, he proposed, a transaction tax, similar to that of GST, so that it doesn’t pinch the tax payer. Further, as Income tax only contributes to around 16 per cent of the Nations Revenues, it could be managed to some extent with this transaction tax.
Another, point of view shared by him was with respect to money and the mentality of people. Once a crime is committed by evading tax, it only encourages the tax payer to repeat it again and in a larger way. A strong deterrent is required to make tax payers more law abiding.
He also believes that removal Income tax will result in in-flow of money into the Country. Losing revenue will boost investment, like a tax haven. According to him, by paying taxes a nation does not become rich; for a nation to become rich & thrive, for which there needs to be a flow of money to India.
Words of Sadhuguru, has definitely given everyone something to think about and reanalyse the system prevalent in the Country.
Smt. Nikita Badheka, President AIFTP posed a question as to why fear of this virus doesn’t affect terrorists. Sadhguru replied saying that a virus is not a problem for people willing die. The worst crime is the idea of heaven, a honey trap. The idea that a life is better than the current is a fallacy. Gods should be fighting their own battles.
Shri MukeshBhutani (Chairman (Hon) India Branch – International Fiscal Association (IFA)) posed a question pertaining to long drawn litigation. Sadhuguru believes that justice delayed is justice denied and appreciates the initiative of the Government with improvements in alternative dispute resolution.
Shri Adish C. Aggarwala, Senior Advocate, posed a question with respect to limitation of resources. Sadhguru believes that our nation to leverage the next 3 to 5 years to pool investments to India.
In conclusion, Mr. GS Pannu, Honourable Vice-President of ITAT Delhi Benchposed a question with respect to barriers between Nations on account of lockdown. Sadhguru believes that the barriers are more logistic in nature as the fight is not among Nations rather the world versus a virus. He believes that technology will bring us together, the whole world as one body.
In closing Sadhguru spoke about leadership and that a king does not have time to grieve. In a democracy, we are our own kings and its upon us to build ourselves, the right thing to do is to look forwards and build our Nation.