Analyze the government decision to impose cess to involve each and every citizen in makinga contribution to Swachh Bharat. Give your arguments against or in favour of the move.

Published: March 17, 2016

The Government towards clean India has imposed Swachh Bharat Cess at 0.5% on all services liable for service tax.
The Government justifies the move as a step towards involving each and every citizen in making a contribution to Swachh Bharat.
However, in my opinion, the cess is just another cess which the governments keep implementing now and again to meet their temporary goals. Already our country is burdened with direct and indirect tax and more than 6 cesses. Swachh Bharat cess would be just cherry on the topping.
Generally, cess are meant for  for temporary purpose, but hitherto experience in India has been that once a cess is imposed, it would be revised, hiked or shifted around but would not be discontinued.
Also, Swachh Bharat Cess will make the tax system less progressive and more regressive. So ultimately, it is the poor and the middle class who are at the receiving end and the ones from whom actually it must be collected.
The Economic Survey 2014 had recommended that government should do away with bad taxes such as cesses and surcharges. However, such recommendations remain only on paper. And it is the needy who ultimately are at the receiving end for any of the government’s move. (206 words)

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