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Business News/ News / India/  Sam Pitroda on inheritance tax controversy: ‘Who said this should be done in India? Why is the BJP in panic?'
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Sam Pitroda on inheritance tax controversy: ‘Who said this should be done in India? Why is the BJP in panic?'

Sam Pitroda speaking after backlash on his comments on inheritance tax in the United States, clarified that he was only ‘mentioning facts’, and this has nothing to do with Congress party's policies.

Sam Pitroda, Chairman, Indian Overseas Congress chairmanPremium
Sam Pitroda, Chairman, Indian Overseas Congress chairman

Indian Overseas Congress chairman Sam Pitroda on April 24 clarified his earlier statement on inheritance tax after it generated widespread reactions.

“I mentioned US inheritance tax in the US only as an example in my normal conversation on TV. Can I not mention facts? I said these are the kinds of issues people will have to discuss and debate. This has nothing to do with the policy of any party including Congress," he wrote on the social media site X (formerly known as Twitter).

Congress distances itself from Sam Pitroda's ‘inheritance tax’ remark

He further questioned why there was "panic created".

“Who said 55 percent will be taken away? Who said something like this should be done in India? Why are the BJP and the media in panic?" he wrote on X.

Pitroda's comments on debating a possible inheritance tax law in the country have snowballed into a major controversy.

Earlier, emphasizing the need for policy toward wealth redistribution, Pitroda spoke about on the concept of inheritance tax prevailing in America and said these are issued that will need to be discussed.

"In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has 100 million USD worth of wealth and when he dies he can only transfer probably 45 per cent to his children, 55 per cent is grabbed by the government. That's an interesting law. It says you in your generation, made wealth and you are leaving now, you must leave your wealth for the public, not all of it, half of it, which to me sounds fair," Pitroda had said.

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"In India, you don't have that. If somebody is worth 10 billion and he dies, his children get 10 billion and the public gets nothing...So these are the kinds of issues people will have to debate and discuss. When we talk about redistributing wealth, we are talking about new policies and new programs that are in the interest of the people and not in the interest of the super-rich only," he had further said.

In India, the concept of levying tax on inheritance does not exist as of now. In fact, the Inheritance or Estate Tax was abolished with effect from 1985.

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Meanwhile, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge sought to firefight the controversy saying the party had no intention on bringing an inheritance tax.

"There is a constitution, we don't have any intention on doing this. Why are you putting BJP's words in our mouths? They are just saying all this for votes," the Congress President said.

Congress General Secretary (Communications), Jairam Ramesh distanced the party from Pitroda's comments saying his view does not always reflect the stand of the party.

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 12:01 PM IST
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