The government is reportedly considering imposing a cess or surcharge on taxes to at least part-finance the vaccination expenditure in the upcoming Budget. Given the state of the economy, most economic agents would not be in favour of higher tax liability. However, it's also true that in the given situation, with a significant increase in the deficit and public debt, the government will want to mobilise additional resources to minimise the wider macroeconomic implications of its finances. In this context, our lead editorial notes
that it makes sense for the government to impose a cess or surcharge to fund the vaccination programme. But it should be mindful of several issues in doing so.
pieces for the day, among other things, talk about expectations from 2021, and BJP’s legislative agenda in states.