India releases income tax data after Piketty criticism


Only about two percent of Indians filed income tax returns in 2013, long-awaited official data showed Friday, highlighting an exceptionally low tax base that constrains public spending in the world’s second-most populous nation. The government was nudged into releasing the figures after celebrated economist Thomas Piketty in January criticised the difficulty of measuring India’s wealth distribution since New Delhi stopped publishing income tax data in 2000. Some 28.8 million individuals filed income tax returns in the financial year to March 2013, the most recent for which figures were given—equating to about 2.3 percent of India’s 1.25 billion population. In the…

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