TAX BURDEN ON FARM AND NON-FARM SECTORS IN INDIA: An Inter-sectoral and Inter-class Analysis
This book provides a detailed, comparative analysis of the relative tax burdens on the farm and non-farm sectors in India in the 1960s. The key question it addresses is one of mobilising the resources for transforming agriculture-dependent, backward economies into industrial economies. In a comparison with the historical experiences of Japan and the Soviet Union, this book goes against the grain of conventional thinking in arguing that their severe, ruthless systems could hardly be implanted into our democratic society.
However, historical experience also suggests that the growth of industrialization does depend on the size of agricultural surpluses. A nuanced approach to augmenting resource contributions from the agricultural sector is proposed, one that is land-based but differentiated according to land fertility, irrigation systems, and cropping patterns. The recommendations made include imposing betterment levies, and the modification of water rates and electricity charges. It provides a policy framework which would be the most efficient, productive, and just form of taxation. The most novel aspect of this study is the detailed income distribution data constructed afresh which would help achieve equity among farm households and between the farm and non-farm households.
S.L. Shetty was the founding director of the EPW Research Foundation for 16 years (1993-2009) and is still associated with the institution. Prior to this, he was head of the research department, Reserve Bank of India. He is the author of a seminal booklet, Structural Regression in the Indian Economy Since the Mid-Sixties. He is also the author of Microfinance in India (2012). He has over 75 published articles in the EPW and other publications, ranging from macroeconomics, agricultural economics, fiscal and monetary policies to money market dynamics, development issues and inequality.