Impose COVID cess on ultra-rich to offset revenue loss: Kumaraswamy

Says govt can adopt measures like partial waivers ofEMIs, rents, school fees and cut in fuel prices

H D Kumaraswamy
JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy in a file photo.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday suggested imposing “COVID cess” on the ultra-rich to offset the loss of revenue, as he called for citizen-centric measures and lower the cost of living, to help those affected by the lockdown.

Cautioning the state and central governments about the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on economy and people, in turn, the JD(S) leader advised for measures like partial waivers of
EMIs, rents, school fees, cut in petrol and diesel prices.

“According to RBI and international economic assessment agencies, the GDP growth rate of the country is expected to fall to a historic low. Such a dire situation calls for citizen-centric measures like full or partial waivers of EMIs, rents, school fees and other levies,” Kumaraswamy tweeted.

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Stating that the economy won’t bounce back within a very short period, he said, it is important to lower the cost of living as the spending power of the consumer has depleted. “The govt must cut the petrol and diesel prices. The loss of revenue may be offset partially by imposing COVID cess on the ultra-rich,” he added.

Further, Kumaraswamy said, it is high time the government announced schemes to save livelihoods of people, especially those in the unorganised sector. The government must provide immediate relief to farmers, construction workers, cab and auto drivers, garment workers, etc, he added.

Indias GDP is likely to range between a decline of 0.9 per cent and a growth of 1.5 per cent in the current financial year, with the economy undergoing a “turbulent” phase caused by the coronavirus-induced lockdown, according to a recent report by CII.