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WATCH: Sitharaman's viral reply on broker's tough question on tax burden

During a BSE event held in Mumbai on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman faced tough questions from a stockbroker on the heavy taxation regime in India


Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks during the Viksit Bharat 2047 event at BSE, in Mumbai, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

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During a BSE event held in Mumbai on Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman faced tough questions from a stockbroker regarding the heavy taxation regime in India.

A video of Sitharaman facing criticism from a stock market broker has gone viral. The broker highlighted the numerous taxes and duties, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), and long-term capital gains tax, which he said collectively exceed the earnings of investors.

He argued that the Centre earns more profit than the brokers, referring to it as the "sleeping partner" in investment operations.

"As a broker, when we are putting a trade for retail investors, you are attracting GST, IGST, stamp duty, STT, and long-term capital gains tax. So today, the government of India is earning more than the broker. I am investing everything, taking on a lot of risk, and the government is taking away all my profit. You are my sleeping partner. I am a working partner with my finance, my risk, my staff, my everything. So, what do you want to say about this?" the broker asked.

He further posed a second question to the minister, seeking assistance with property purchases amid such a high taxation regime.

"In Bombay, if anyone wants to buy a house today, it's a nightmare. I am paying taxes; I have white money. We have to pay everything by cheque, but the seller will not accept cash. So, my bank balance, after paying all taxes, is purely to the government. When I am buying a house, I have to pay stamp duty and GST, which amounts to 11 per cent in Bombay. So, while buying a house in Bombay, 11 per cent goes out of my pocket simply to purchase the house. So, how will you assist a small person with limited resources to buy a house?" he asked.

To this, Sitharaman jokingly replied, "A sleeping partner cannot answer sitting here."

The viral video is part of a BSE event on the topic 'Viksit Bharat 2047 - Vision for Indian Financial Markets,' held in Mumbai on Tuesday. Sitharaman was invited to the event to give a keynote address and discuss the evolving nature of Indian financial markets.

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First Published: May 17 2024 | 9:12 AM IST

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