Sitharaman invokes Mahabharata; Kharge hits back

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New Delhi: Invoking a verse from the epic Mahabharata, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced steps to further simplify the tax system and promote voluntary compliance.

Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge also invoked the Mahabharata to hit out at Sitharaman and claimed that the budget was not meant for ‘Eklavya’, the prince of Nishadha, a confederation of jungle tribes.

“The king must make arrangements for Yogakshema (welfare) of the populace by way of abandoning any laxity and by governing the state in line with Dharma, along with collecting taxes which are in consonance with the Dharma,” Sitharaman said quoting from Shanti Parva in Mahabharata.

She said drawing wisdom from the ancient texts, the government continued on the path to progress.

“The proposals in this budget, while continuing with our declared policy of stable and predictable tax regime, intend to bring more reforms that will take ahead our vision to establish a trustworthy tax regime,” the minister said.

Kharge claimed that the budget only catered to the rich.

“As I understand, this budget is for Arjun and Dronacharya and not for Ekalavya. There is nothing for the poor in this budget,” Kharge said.

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