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BJP’s Sankalp Patra for Lok Sabha elections: What does it have for the middle class

BJP promises to revise tax slabs and reduce tax rates in its manifesto

Today the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party launched its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The party has titled its manifesto as Sankalp Patra, meaning it’s not just announcement of promises, but a commitment to fulfil the promises made before the elections. Although parties make big promises for the poor, it is often alleged that the middle class is ignored by most parties. There is a general feeling that while the middle class pays taxes, they don’t get many benefits from the government. Therefore, let’s have a look at what BJP promises for the middle class in its Sankalp Patra.

Under the tax policy, the party promises that it will continue its current policy of lowering the tax rate, thereby rewarding honest taxpayers and improving compliance. The Manifesto says that the party is committed to further revise the tax slabs and the tax benefits to ensure more cash and greater purchasing power in the hands of our middle-income families. Therefore, although the party is not proposing any radical change in the tax system, they are promising the revision of tax slabs and reduction in Income Tax rates. The party also says that it will continue with the simplification of the GST process by engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders.

The party has promised that the government of India will expand its Credit Guarantee Scheme for the MSME sector, and credit of 1,00,000 crore for the sector will be achieved by the year 2024. The manifest also proposes to establish a National Traders’ Welfare Board and create a National Policy for Retail Trade for the growth of the retail businesses in the country. The government will provide an accident insurance coverage of Rs 10 lakh to all traders registered under GST, and the party promises to launch a scheme to give Merchant Credit Card to registered merchants, like the Kisan credit card.

To encourage Entrepreneurship and Startups, BJP promises to launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to Rs 50 lakh. The government will guarantee 50% of the loan amount for female entrepreneurs and 25% of the loan amount for male entrepreneurs. The government will also promote and encourage Startups through the creation of a “Seed Startup Fund” of Rs 20,000 crore.

The party also says in its manifesto that it will set up a committee for Easing Citizens’ Interactions with Government (CECIG). The committee will work with experts in reforming citizen’s interface with the government in various fields like taxes, business compliance, rules and regulations etc, so that they can be made simpler and easier. BJP will explore every opportunity to implement the Right to Service.

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