Time series data released by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Monday show the share of direct taxes in total taxes rose every year through the first decade of this century — going from 36.31% in 2000-01 to 60.78% in 2009-10. This was reversed in 2010-11, when the figure fell to 56.48% — thereafter, despite spikes in some years, the broad trend has been that of decline.
In 2016-17, the share of direct taxes in total taxes fell to 49.65%, before rising to 52.29% in 2017-18.
Indirect taxes, whose share has been rising in recent years, are considered regressive since they don’t differentiate among people at different levels of income. Direct taxes are considered progressive as they are proportionate to income levels.
Tip for Reading List — Understanding Saudi Arabia
For three weeks now, Saudi Arabia and its rulers have remained in the eye of a global storm over what Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Tuesday as the “savage”, “premeditated murder” of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. Home to the holiest spots of Islam, ruled by a ruthless theocratic monarchy, boosted by the wealth of enormous oil reserves, and the exporter of Wahhabi fundamentalist terrorism across the world — Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most extraordinary countries. These are two recent books to understand the kingdom — and its relationship with its chief patron and the world’s lone superpower, the US.
Salman’s Legacy: The Dilemmas of a New Era in Saudi Arabia is a collection of essays edited by Dr Madawi al-Rasheed, a prominent Saudi intellectual in exile who is currently visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. The essays, by historians and social scientists who are Saudi Arabia experts, not only present cutting-edge research in ‘traditional’ areas such as the politics of the royal court, geostrategic affairs, and Wahhabism and Salafism, but also break newer ground with studies such as those on “Saudi feminism beyond patriarchal bargaining” and “regionalism and collective political action” in the kingdom. The volume, published this June, puts the spotlight on the reign of King Salman (2015-present), under whom, as the editor writes in her Introduction, “a new kingdom is emerging”, and seeks to “provide historical depth and insights into the contemporary challenges that… (Saudi Arabia) has faced, and is likely to continue to face in the near future”.
Kings and Presidents: Saudi Arabia and the United States Since FDR, published last year, is an insider’s account of the complex ties of interdependence between an absolutist Islamic monarchy and the world’s most powerful democracy. It has been written by Bruce Riedel, former CIA analyst and an expert on US security, South Asia and counterterrorism, and draws, besides the author’s unique experience and perspective, on declassified documents and eyewitness accounts. This sweeping history of the fraught relationship — the impact of which has always been felt far beyond the national borders of the two countries — covers the period from the 1940s to the present; from the time of Franklin D Roosevelt and Ibn Saud; through King Faisal and Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon; to King Abdullah and King Salman and Obama and Trump. Also, as potentially revolutionary change looms under the young, ruthless, and ambitious Clown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riedel asks in his concluding chapter, “Whither Saudi Arabia”.