PM Modi was at a Times Now event yesterday on February 12 wherein his speech he mentioned the problem of people not paying their income taxes, or inventing ways to hide their income. Speaking at the event, the PM mentioned some startling facts.
PM Modi mentioned that in a country of more than 130 crore people, only 1.5 crore people pay Income Tax. Even from the 1.5 crore people, the number of people announcing income of over 50 lakhs is just 3 lakhs.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) February 12, 2020
PM Modi mentioned that among the numerous professionals, only 2200 professionals declare their annual income to be above Rs 1 crore. Though the PM had specifically mentioned ‘professionals’, many Twitter celebrities jumped to ‘fact-check’ the PM, claiming that he is stating false data and the number of people declaring income over Rs 1 crore is much more than the number the PM provided.
MK Venu, the founder of far-left propaganda website The Wire rushed to call the PM’s claim a ‘gaffe’. He was also quick to pontificate, that such gaffes ‘represent chaotic governance at some deeper level’.
Journalist J Gopikrishnan too made the same mistake, he cited the data for 2018-19 financial year, that said over 97, 689 people had declared income over Rs 1 crore.
However, the PM was not stating the total number of people who had declared income over Rs 1 crore. He was specifically discussing ‘professionals’ and had mentioned clearly that of the many professionals in India, only 2200 people had declared an income over Rs 1 crore.
It is common knowledge that most people with income over 1 crore per anum will be business tycoons, industrialists and such. But the PM was not speaking about them, he had specifically mentioned ‘professionals’ and had even explained to the audience that by ‘professionals’ he means Doctors, Engineers, Charted Accountants, Lawyers and even Bollywood stars. However, as is evident from the number of people ‘fact-checking’ the PM, they have either not bothered to listen to the PM’s words or thought that they can get away with twisting details and branding the PM as a liar.
The PM has said, “In a country of over 130 crore people, only 1.5 crore people pay income tax. Even among them only 3 lakh people declare their income as that above 50 lakhs. You will be shocked to hear that, in our country, where there are countless professionals, doctors, engineers, charted accountants, Bollywood artists, lawyers, and today when even tier 2 and tier 3 cities are full of such professionals, only 2200 have declared their annual income to be above Rs 1 crore.”
The PM went ahead to state that “Only the Supreme Court in Delhi has more people than this. 2200 professionals in the whole country. How is this even believable? We are happy when we see people buying luxury cars, going on holidays abroad, but the numbers of taxpayers are saddening. It hurts because it burdens the people who are honest tax-payers.
In the last 5 years, over 1.5 crore high-end cars have been sold & over 3 crore Indians have gone abroad.
Only 1.5 crore Indians pay taxes. Out of this, only 3 lakh people have declared their income over Rs 50 lakh & 2,200 people over Rs 1 crore.
It is shocking: PM Modi pic.twitter.com/ZTqoN05Bme
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 12, 2020
Many people who had claimed this number of 2200 as a ‘gaffe’ may cite that they did it because they were quoting what the BJP official handle had mentioned. The tweet by BJP India’s official handle had generalised it as ‘people’. But it only showed that they had not bothered to listen to the video clip where the PM was speaking. The PM has specifically mentioned ‘professionals’ and only had cited the number of professionals who had declared income over Rs 1 crore.