I don’t have a response to this, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman on being asked about high taxes on brokers

During the Viksit Bharat 2047 - Vision for Indian Financial Markets in Mumbai event a stock exchange broker complained about the various taxes imposed by the Indian government on stock market brokers and real estate transactions.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala SitharamanPTI
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has come under criticism for brushing aside the concerns raised by a Mumbai stock exchange broker regarding the heavy taxes imposed by the Government of India in various forms. 

During the Viksit Bharat 2047 - Vision for Indian Financial Markets in Mumbai event held on May 14, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who was the chief guest was questioned by a stock exchange broker. He complained about the various taxes imposed by the Indian government on stock market brokers and real estate transactions. The broker said that the government acts like a "sleeping partner," collecting taxes at every stage and ultimately earning more than the brokers themselves.

The broker listed out an extensive range of taxes levied on transactions, including Goods and Services Tax (GST), Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), Stamp Duty, Securities Transaction Tax (STT), and Long-Term Capital Gains (LTCG) Tax. These multiple layers of taxation, he argued, significantly impacted the earnings of brokers and investors.

“I am investing everything, I am taking a whole lot of risk and the Government of India is taking away the entire profit of mine. How can a broker function with hoards of taxes where the Government of India is my sleeping partner and I am a working partner with no income,” he said.

Citing another example of how difficult it has become to buy a house since the government has removed the cash component, he said that the government is collecting another 11% of tax in the form of GST. While buying a property, the transactions have to be done through a cheque. “My bank balance is purely after paying all taxes to the Government of India. Again when I have to buy a house I have to pay stamp duty, I have to pay GST,” he said.  

Responding to this, Nirmala Sitharaman nonchalantly said, “I don't have a response to this. A sleeping partner cannot answer sitting here.” The Finance Minister’s cheeky response however was not appreciated by many on the internet. They instead asked the Minister to address the valid concern. 

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