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Fact Check Roundup: India's 2022 Union Budget

Fact Check Roundup: India's 2022 Union Budget

On February 1, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget, the statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Indian government, for the 2022 fiscal year. 

Logically found numerous inaccurate narratives about the budget doing the rounds on social media, including false statements around the legalization and taxation of cryptocurrency, the corporate tax being slashed, and the government favoring certain businessmen. Here are some of the most widely-shared claims that we checked:

FALSE: India's 2022 Union Budget levies a 30 percent tax on cryptocurrency transactions.

India’s cryptocurrency market has been making headlines, despite ambiguity over regulations and legality due to a lack of clarity from the Indian government or the Reserve Bank of India. Hence, the budget proposal to “tax” virtual digital assets left people confused. Many online discussions and posts assumed the Indian government had ‘legalized cryptocurrencies’ and that a “30 percent tax” was being levied on all cryptocurrency transactions. This is incorrect.

Read the full fact check here.

MISLEADING: The Indian government has slashed corporate tax rates to 15 percent.

The Indian government did not cut or change the set corporate tax rate imposed. In 2019, a concession rate of 15 percent was set for new manufacturing industries, and in this year's budget, they have merely given an extension of the set rate for new manufacturing industries up to March 31, 2024. These narratives have been used to discredit the NDA government. 

Read the full fact check here.

TRUE: India's gross GST collection in January 2022 was the highest since the inception of the tax.

This assertion by the finance minister is accurate. Although initially collection from April 2021 was deemed the highest, a November 2021 release from the Ministry of Finance showed that the figures for April 2021 had been revised. Also, the minister made an ad hoc announcement during the budget speech regarding the updated January figures, which were higher than the figure published by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs on the evening of January 31, 2022.

Read the full fact check here.

PARTLY TRUE: The Modi government has abolished more than 1500 old laws in 6 years.

The Finance Minister claimed that “over 25,000 compliances were reduced and 1486 Union laws were repealed” as a result of the government's commitment to “minimum government and maximum governance.” However, we could not find adequate evidence to verify the claim entirely.

This is not the first time the Modi government has made this assertion. In 2019, while addressing a traders’ convention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government scrapped 1,500 archaic laws in the last five years. In 2020 while speaking at the ASSOCHAM Foundation Week event, PM Modi again claimed that his government had scrapped 1,500 old and obsolete laws in the last six years, and the effect of the same has been seen in the reforms in the business and investment sectors.

Read the full fact check here.

TRUE: The union government has provided tap water to nearly 5.5 crore households in the last two years.

This is indeed correct; the Jal Jeevan Mission, launched by the Modi government, has covered more than 5.5 crore households providing tap water connections since August 2019. Currently, over 8 crore households have tap water connections, and the government anticipates covering 3.8 crore households and has allocated 60,000 crores for the fiscal year 2022-23.

Read the full fact check here.

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