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Want Achhe Din? Implement these taxes!

By Divya Nair
Last updated on: July 26, 2016 15:01 IST
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From curbing population to dealing with speedsters, presenting a list of need-of-the-hour-taxes, we hope, our ministers take note of.

We Indians are already paying 33 per cent income tax. Add to it 15 per cent service tax inclusive of Swachh Bharat Cess and the latest Krishi Kalyan Cess at 0.5 percent each.

Welcome to India, the land of new taxation where you pay more for every rupee earned and spent.

Dear Prime Minister, while it's a great way to involve taxpayers in your governance, we think you missed some more important taxes.

Including these new taxes, we think, will definitely aid you and the janta (mitron, in your vocabulary) towards the dream of Achhe Din.

So here's our wishlist!

1. Population tax

India is sitting at 1.3 billion people and that figure looks like it will soon touch the sky.

We moved from hum do hamare do to hum do, hamara ek almost a decade ago, but that doesn't seem to be helping much.

In a country where a newborn is seen as 'bhagwaan ki dua', perhaps levying a tax could dissuade couples, young and old, to maybe think of contraception?

2. Gutka tax

In India, spitting should be a skill worth qualifying for the Olympics.

Almost everyone is skilled at it; there are some who can aim at the wall from the bus and train windows.

In 2015, the Indian Express reported how Western Railway spends close to Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million) cleaning up paan and gutka stains on railway platforms.

If that figure is anything to go by, multiply it by the number of railway stations and the walls in the country. Do the math.

Meanwhile, can we have a gutka tax please? The Swachh Bharat Cess doesn't really cover gutka, or can it?

3. Profanity tax

Blame it on new age Hindi films or popular item songs, profanity is the new cool.

Words like b*******, m******** have found a plum place in daily conversations.

Since the Censor Board can't be everywhere, how about a tax (more like a fine) to fight profanity?

Perhaps, every service provider could have an app that would identify cuss words. You will be charged a premium per abuse at the end of every month.

4. Littering tax

Some of us think the world is our restroom and any place outside our home is a free to use garbage can.

So much so, we even let our kids grow up believing that littering in public places is the most convenient thing to do.

Well, how about making them pay a tax for it?

5. Honking tax

Ask anyone who has travelled out of India what is the one thing they hate the most and pat comes the reply -- honking!

How many times have you yelled at the person honking behind you to stop doing it and thought if there was a way to stop it?

Well, if there was a way the CCTV cameras on roads counted the number of times you honked and taxed you for it! Maybe that would be some lesson to use the horn more responsibly.

6. Tobacco tax

It's written on the packet, yet people ignore the warning.

There are hundreds of people who smoke in public places and get away with it.

Kids, pregnant women and elderly passively inhale the smoke.

According to 2012 data, nearly 600,000 people died due to passive smoking of which 165,000 were kids.

Don't you think it would make sense to tax those who smoke in public places?

7. Jumping signals and speeding tax

In India, there is an unwritten traffic rule which many of us follow: Jump a signal as long as no one is watching or reprimanding you.

Well, what if your actions were being monitored and you get a tax slip at the next fuel station for your impatience?

There should be some way to stop the speedsters, shouldn't it?

8. Junk food tax

According a 2015 World Health Organisation study, India has the third-highest number of obese and overweight people, of which 11 per cent are adolescents.

The increased consumption of junk food is to be partly blamed -- the pizzas, the burgers, colas and what not.

Kerala has already introduced a tax on junk food. How about making it a national junk food tax?

That way parents and kids would junk junk food.

9. Cutting trees tax

We complain about the poor monsoon, scarcity of water and fresh air. And pollution, of course!

Ever looked around and taken note of the trees that were cut to make way for our concrete civilisation?

By charging people who cut trees, we can at least make an attempt to restore the man-nature balance.

10. Queue breaking tax

Sometimes you wonder if there could have been a law to prohibit people from breaking the queue.

You'll find these queuebreakers everywhere -- at railway stations, movie theatres, historical sites, places of worship.

They are impatient, restless and anxious to get ahead of everyone, sometimes creating a stampede-like situation.

How do we get the point across to these adult kids? Tax them!

11. Plastic tax

It doesn't matter we are charged a premium for plastic bags; we still can't do without them. 'Thaili do na bhaiyya, (Brother, give me a plastic bag),' we insist almost shamelessly.

As per a 2015 Central Pollution Control Board survey, 60 cities produce 15,342 tonnes of plastic waste every day.

India ranks 12th in the world for dumping plastic in the ocean.

From bottles to plastic bags and what not, we dump everything with the simple reason that the ocean eats up everything.

The only way to condition these irresponsible humans is by taxing them for every bit of plastic they use and carelessly dump.

Think we missed something in the list? Feel free to share your views in the message board below.

Lead image published only for representational purposes. Photograph: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

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