“Congress ki loot”: PM slams Congress over inheritance tax proposal

| Updated: 24 April, 2024 2:57 pm IST
TNI illustration by Abhishek Singh.

New Delhi: In a scathing attack on the Congress party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has criticised the proposal to introduce an Inheritance Tax, calling it a “dangerous intention” to loot the hard-earned wealth of citizens. A debate turned on following remarks made by Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, regarding the proposal to introduce an Inheritance Tax in India.

Sam Pitroda suggested that India should adopt a policy similar to the United States, where a significant portion of inherited wealth is taxed, “In America, there is an inheritance tax. If one has $100 million worth of wealth and when he dies, he can only transfer probably 45% to his children, 55% 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. 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. I don’t know what the conclusion would be at the end of the day but 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.” 

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However, Prime Minister Modi swiftly criticised Pitroda’s comments, accusing the Congress party of harbouring dangerous intentions. Modi asserted that the proposal to implement an Inheritance Tax would unfairly burden the middle class and deprive individuals of the ability to pass on their hard-earned property to their children. He characterised the Congress party’s stance as a continuation of their alleged pattern of “looting” both during life and after death, “The Congress party’s mantra is clear – Congress ki loot, Zindagi Ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi (Congress will loot you both during life and afterlife). They want to tax you more and more, and even after you’re gone, they’ll snatch away your hard-earned property from your children.”

In response to the controversy, the Congress general secretary in charge Jairam Ramesh defended Pitroda’s right to express personal opinions, emphasising that his views do not always reflect the official position of the Indian National Congress. Ramesh condemned attempts to sensationalise Pitroda’s remarks and accused Prime Minister Modi of engaging in a malicious and misleading election campaign. 

Further several BJP leaders reacted it was Himanta Biswa Sarma – Assam CM who reacted and said, Family Advisor is spilling the beans – their intention is ‘organised loot and legalised plunder’ of your hard-earned money” Amit Malviya, who heads the BJP’s IT cell, posted, “Congress has decided to destroy India. Now, Sam Pitroda advocates a 50% inheritance tax for wealth redistribution. This means 50% of whatever we build, with all our hard work and enterprise, will be taken away. 50%, besides all the tax we pay, which too will go up, if the Congress prevails.”

As the debate continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the proposal for an Inheritance Tax will be received by the Indian public and whether it will become a focal point in the upcoming elections.


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