The government's direct tax collection target and the positive growth in tax revenues. It also highlights the need for further reforms in taxation, simplification of tax rates, and the promotion of retirement savings and health insurance.
The government has achieved nearly 81% of its direct tax collection target for the financial year 2023-24.
Direct tax inflows, net of refunds, were 19.4% higher than the previous year, reaching ₹14.7 lakh crore as of January 10.
Economists predict that the government's net direct tax collection will exceed the Budget estimate of ₹17.2 lakh crore by about ₹1 lakh crore or more.
The overall revenue is expected to surpass Budget expectations due to the likely surpassing of Goods and Services Tax inflows and non-tax revenues, including a generous dividend from the central bank.
Corporate taxes have grown by 12.4%, while personal income taxes have yielded 27.3% higher revenues.
The number of income-tax returns filed this assessment year has reached a record level of 8.2 crore by December 31.
The government's revenue has increased and the tax filing base has widened, providing hope for fiscal consolidation.
There is room for the government to simplify taxation for corporates and individuals, such as reducing the number of withholding tax rates.
Tax deduction and collection rates may be lowered, while still providing intelligence for the taxman.
The new exemption-less personal income tax regime is gaining popularity.
The government can consider mechanisms to encourage retirement savings and health insurance.
The 18% GST levy on health insurance should be reconsidered, as it poses a significant cost for lower- and middle-income households.
The Interim Budget 2024-25 is not expected to have major changes, but the government should keep reform options open for the new government to consider.
It is important to stay updated with current affairs and government initiatives. This article discusses the Swachh Survekshan Awards, which is an annual exercise conducted by the government to recognize cities, towns, and states for their performance in public sanitation.
Indore, in Madhya Pradesh, has been declared as India's cleanest city for the seventh consecutive year in the Swachh Survekshan Awards.
This year, Indore shares the top spot with Surat, Gujarat.
Bhopal, Surat, and Visakhapatnam have consistently performed well in the rankings over the years.
There is a certain degree of stagnation in the top cities, while cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, and Gwalior show volatility in their rankings.
The survey creates multiple sub-categories to give more cities a chance to score highly in some category.
Mhow in Madhya Pradesh is awarded as the cleanest 'cantonment' town.
Varanasi and Prayagraj are the cleanest 'Ganga' towns.
Chandigarh is the cleanest 'Best Safaimitra Surakshit Sheher' (Cities safest for sanitation workers).
The focus on top-ranking cities takes away attention from factors that hinder general improvement in sanitation.
To make future editions of the survey more useful, consistent top-ranking cities should be retired for a few years to highlight challenges faced by other cities.
The government should intervene to prevent civic sanitation from becoming a numbers game.