New Delhi. Following the suggestion in the Economic Survey to widen the tax base, the Union Government has decided to introduce a new levy called “Pedestrian Tax” to augment revenue.
“See, the poor can’t afford vehicles so they walk on foot, while the rich are advised by their doctors to walk a few miles every day. Ever since the prices of petrol and cars have increased, even the middle class has been walking on foot, so a pedestrian tax will virtually cover every citizen of India,” he said.
He further said that such tax was required to offset the loss of revenues occurring due to more and more people walking on foot.
“People are not buying cars and cutting down on consumption of petrol and diesel, so we are not getting enough sales tax, road tax, fuel surcharge, toll tax, etc., the only way out is to introduce pedestrian tax,” the official argued.
Government sources claim that the move will help the economy achieve a GDP growth rate of 9% and restrict the fiscal deficit by 200 basis points.
“To avoid the pedestrian tax, at best people could purchase bicycles, but we are not afraid as that would generate sales tax, and also increase industrial output as the bicycle industry will grow fast,” a government source claimed.
“We can further claim that people were riding bicycles inspired by Rahul Gandhi,” another source quipped.
Senior officials at the Tax Research Unit of the Planning Commission have compiled a guideline. All walkers will be treated as pedestrians. Everyone will be registered using his or her Unique Identification Number of the Aadhar Card and supplied with a “pedometer” to record the distance walked.
“No, no, it’s not like we are chaining people’s legs and restricting their freedom, it’s just some reasonable restrictions to collect tax,” a government official explained.
The pedometers will be sourced through a global tender and there will be no middle men to avoid another scam.
Using the fund generated from this pedestrian tax, walking tracks will be built in all towns to generate even more tax.
To resolve any dispute that may arise, a Pedestrian Tax Tribunal will also be established at all state capitals and this will give the legal profession a much needed boost and will help fine tune the law.
In what could trouble cricketers like Rohit Sharma, walking to and from a cricket pitch will also be taxed if the return trip is undertaken within 5 minutes. The batsmen in the middle cannot walk across for singles, something Sehwag does for conserving energy, but will have to actually run or else the walk will be taxed.
However, giving a big relief to the common man, the official explained that walking up to 1 Kilometer in urban areas and up to 5 Kilometers in rural areas will be exempted from this tax.
Similarly, walking connected with social awakening such as Diabetics Awareness, AIDS awareness, Marathon against Misogyny, etc. will be fully exempted.
Government officials refused to give details on whether walking to reach a pilgrim centers will be taxed. Sources say that the government’s secular policies will be followed, and not every religious walk could be made tax-free.
“Of course not! They will be exempted too to strengthen democracy,” a government source clarified when asked if walk-outs from Parliament will also be taxed.