The finance minister slapped a tax on the super-rich, a worldwide theme this year, though he did not call it as such. He proposed a 10% surcharge on persons with a taxable income exceeding Rs. 1 crore per year in the budget for 2013-14 and would run for only one year.
This would hit about 42,800 persons who have an official taxable income over the amount.
This will be applicable to individuals, Hindu Undivided Families, firms and "entities with similar tax status."
"When I need to raise resources, who can I go to except those who are well placed in society," he said.
The proposal to tax the super-rich came from C Rangarajan, the chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, and found an echo in Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who also recently pledged a large chunk of his personal wealth for social welfare.
"I believe there is a little bit of spirit of Azim Premji in every affluent taxpayer and I am confident when I ask relatively affluent taxpayers to bear a small burden for one year they will do so cheerfully," the minister said.
The budget has also proposed to raise from 5 to 10% the surcharge on incomes earned by domestic firms whose taxable income exceeds Rs. 10 crore per year. For foreign firms that pay the highest rate of corporate tax, the surcharge will rise from 2% to 5%.