Indian Express Editorial Summary 

Inheritance Tax in India: A Debate Reopened

GS-3 Mains

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the global trend of declining wealth taxes and analyze the implications for wealth redistribution policies in India.

Introduction: Sam Pitroda’s comments on inheritance tax reignite discussion on wealth redistribution.

History of Wealth Taxes in India:

    • Inheritance tax (estate duty) introduced in 1953, abolished in 1985.
    • Wealth tax and gift tax also existed, abolished in 2015 and 1998 respectively.

Reasons for Abolishing Estate Duty:

      • Low revenue generation (Rs 20 crore).
      • High administrative costs.
      • Failure to achieve goals of wealth redistribution and state funding.

Global Trend:

    • Decline in wealth taxes worldwide.
    • Only 3 OECD countries (Switzerland, Spain, Norway) have broad-based wealth taxes.

Congress Party’s Stance

  • Pitroda’s comments refuted as personal opinion.
  • Rahul Gandhi promises “revolutionary measures” after wealth survey.
  • Party manifesto talks about tax reforms but avoids wealth tax mention.

Arguments for Wealth Tax

  • Research shows low effective tax rates paid by the wealthy (global billionaires – 0-0.5%).
  • A global minimum tax on billionaires could raise significant revenue.
  • Wealthy exploit loopholes to reduce tax burden.

Against Wealth Tax

    • Congress message on wealth tax unclear and may discourage investment.
    • India’s wealth creation story just beginning (150 million demat accounts).
  • Inhibits investment: Wealth tax discourages investment by penalizing asset accumulation, hindering economic growth.
  • Administrative burden: Imposing and administering wealth tax is costly and complex, straining government resources.
  • Economic distortions: Wealth tax encourages tax evasion, capital flight, and asset concealment, leading to market distortions.
  • Deters entrepreneurship: It discourages risk-taking and innovation among entrepreneurs.
  • Global trend: Many countries have abolished wealth tax due to its ineffectiveness and negative economic impact.


  • Congress’ talk of wealth tax and caste census together raises concerns.
  • This may hinder India’s economic progress post-1992 reforms.



Indian Express Editorial Summary 

Topic-2 : The UK’s “Rwanda Bill”: A Controversial Solution

GS-2 Mains

Revision Notes

Question : Discuss the implications of the UK’s “Rwanda Bill” for both asylum seekers and the relationship between developed and developing countries.

The Bill

  • The UK government passed the “Rwanda Bill,” allowing them to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing.
  • This applies to those who entered the UK illegally after January 1, 2022.


  • Asylum seekers cannot return to the UK, regardless of their case’s legitimacy, and must settle in Rwanda or another country.
  • Critics argue Rwanda is not a safe country for asylum seekers, violating the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
  • The Supreme Court previously declared a similar scheme unlawful in 2023.

Benefits for Britain and Rwanda

  • Rwanda receives significant financial aid (hundreds of thousands of pounds) for acting as an offshore processing center.
  • The UK hopes the bill deters asylum seekers from crossing the English Channel in small boats.

Similar Arrangements Elsewhere

  • Australia previously had an offshore refugee program in Nauru, a small Pacific island nation.
  • The EU and US administrations have also explored similar arrangements with developing countries.

Key Points to Consider

  • The bill’s legality and its impact on human rights remain debatable.
  • The effectiveness of deterrence through offshoring asylum seekers is uncertain.
  • Ethical concerns exist regarding the financial dependence of developing countries on such programs.

Western Nations and Refugees: A Shift in Attitude?

Symbolic Politics of Refugees

  • Western governments’ approach to refugees is driven by symbolism for domestic and global audiences.

Controlling Refugees Wins Votes

  • Controlling borders is a powerful political tool.
  • Example: Australian PM John Howard’s tough stance on immigration helped him win elections.
  • Similar rhetoric surrounds the UK’s Rwanda Bill, portraying refugees as a threat to national sovereignty.

The West’s Image of Compassion

  • The Rwanda Bill allows the UK to project an image of compassion externally.
  • By financially supporting Rwanda, they appear to care for refugees (though the location of care is external).

The Troubling “Asylum Economy”

  • The reliance on developing countries like Rwanda to house refugees creates a neo-colonial dynamic.
  • This approach fails to address the root causes of refugee crises.

No End in Sight for Refugee Crisis

  • The conditions causing displacement are unlikely to improve soon.
  • Refugees are not making dangerous journeys to challenge sovereignty or test compassion.
  • Legal challenges to the Rwanda Bill are likely, but its impact on elections is uncertain.

A Disheartening Conclusion

  • The focus on sovereignty and national interest overshadows the human cost of these policies.
  • There’s no clear plan to address the root causes of refugee flows.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *