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Modi Announces 'Clean India' Tax

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

10 November 2015

The Indian Ministry of Finance has announced an additional tax on services to help achieve the goals of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign.

According to the ministry's statement, which was published on November 6, 2015, an additional tax of 0.5 percent will be imposed on all services presently liable to the service tax with effect from November 15, 2015. Revenue from this tax will be exclusively used for "Swachh Bharat" – or Clean India – initiatives. However, the Ministry said that the Swachh Bharat levy is "not another tax," but a step towards "involving each and every citizen in making [a] contribution" to the Clean India campaign.

"For such a vast and populous country we do have our fair share of cleanliness concerns," the Ministry stated. "In fact, persons entrusted with the job of keeping our country clean, struggle constantly. Cleanliness also has huge impact on public health. Dirty surroundings also cause many diseases, like, malaria, dengue, diarrhoea, jaundice, cholera etc., with associated high public health expenditure."

Revenues from Swachh Bharat tax will be channelled into projects designed to prevent these diseases, with the ultimate aim being to reduce the INR67bn (USD1bn) spent by the Government on public health annually.

TAGS: Finance | tax | India | public health | services

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