Home minister P Chidambaram, who as finance minister had slashed taxes, on Wednesday suggested that rich should be taxed more even though "many people" would not like the idea.
"We must raise the tax revenue to defend (the expected aggregate decline of resources). I know many people won't like this. But I think, I can summon the courage to make the statement," he said addressing a function of All India Management Association in New Delhi.
Chidambaram as the finance minister between May 2004 and November 2008 had slashed taxes and was credited with presenting a 'dream budget' in the initial years of his tenure in the finance ministry.
"I am (was) the finance minister who slashed your tax rates. Therefore ... you must be prepared to pay higher tax rates, especially the rich must be prepared to pay higher tax," he said.
The home minister said in Europe rich people were getting together to say, "please tax us more".
His suggestion is also in line with the move by US President Barack Obama who has proposed to tax rich for taking the American economy out of the financial troubles.
"Certainly this is not the place, nor I am the person to say what tax should be raised. But we should seriously consider how to raise the tax revenue of the country," Chidambaram said, even as preparations for the next Budget (2012-13) have started.