'Classical Music and Sound Sleep': Nirmala Sitharaman Shares How She Unwinds After Long Working Day

Last Updated: February 03, 2023, 16:18 IST

In her first post-Budget interview with a private news network, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman speaks with Rahul Joshi, Group Editor-in-Chief, Network18. Image/News18

Nirmala Sitharaman has voiced hope that around 50 per cent of people will switch to the new regime

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said she listens to classical music and takes a sound sleep to unwind after a long working day. She also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that continues to boost the entire Cabinet to work for the welfare of the country.

In an exclusive interview with Network18’s Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, Sitharaman was asked how she unwinds after a long day and working on the Union Budget every fiscal year. To this, she said, “I listen to music, mainly classical and Carnatic, and have a sound sleep. We can work well because of our Prime Minister who has a great vision for the country. We have a good PM with his leadership which helps us all.”

When asked about the new tax regime and the modifications in personal tax, Sitharaman said, “PM Modi always wanted to make the personal tax system simple. He believed no immense documents should be required. PM was very clear that taxpayers should know actually what they are paying and feel comforted.”

She further voiced hope that around 50 per cent of people will switch to the new regime.

On Wednesday, Sitharaman said the government has made the new income tax regime more attractive for taxpayers and has brought about “substantial changes” in its structure for the benefit of the middle class.

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The Budget 2023-24 has proposed changes in the optional tax regime, which was introduced in 2020-21.

Speaking to reporters after presentation of the Budget, she had said this is a Budget which has beautifully balanced both growth considerations and fiscal management.

As per the changes proposed in the Budget, no tax would be levied on people with annual income of up to Rs 7 lakh under the new tax regime but it made no changes for those who continue in the old regime that provides for tax exemptions and deductions on investments and expenses such as HRA.

In what is being seen as a push for the salaried class to switch to the new tax regime where no exemptions on investments are provided, the finance minister in her Budget for 2023-24 allowed a standard deduction of Rs 50,000 under the new regime.

The old tax regime provides for a similar deduction and no tax on income up to Rs 5 lakh.

Sitharaman said the government wants to make the new tax regime attractive enough and compliance should not be burdensome on taxpayers. However, if someone feels the old regime is more beneficial, he/she can continue in it.

“The ultimate interest is to make the simpler (new) regime more attractive,” Sitharaman said.

Under the revamped new tax regime, no tax would be levied for income up to Rs 3 lakh. Income between Rs 3-6 lakh would be taxed at 5 per cent; Rs 6-9 lakh at 10 per cent, Rs 9-12 lakh at 15 per cent, Rs 12-15 lakh at 20 per cent and income of Rs 15 lakh and above will be taxed at 30 per cent.

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(with inputs from PTI)

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