25 lakh cars sold in India every year despite only 24 lakh people declaring income over Rs 10 lakh

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New Delhi, An average of 25 lakh cars including 35,000 luxury vehicles are sold in India every year despite only 24 lakh people declaring an annual income of over Rs 10 lakh, PTI reported on Tuesday. A senior government official told the agency that only 3.65 crore of the 125 crore people in the country filed their tax returns for the assessment year 2014-2015.

Only 5.5 lakh people out of the 3.65 crore filing their tax returns paid an income tax amount of more than Rs 5 lakh during that period, the official said. “This essentially means that only 1.5% of those filing tax returns are contributing 57% of [the country’s] tax kitty,” the official added, according to the report. Data also showed only 48,417 people reported an income of more than Rs 1 crore every year.

The figures contrast with the number of cars sold in the country, the official said. “In the last three years, car sales were 25.03 lakh, 26 lakh and 27 lakh.” Luxury brands like BMW, Jaguar and Porsche sell more than 35,000 cars in the country annually. The available data shows there are a lot of people who are evading taxes, the official said.

The data comes even as the government seeks to stop the flow of black money in the economy through the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The currency denominations, which represented 86% of the liquidity in the country, were rendered invalid on November 8. However, the move by the Narendra Modi-led Centre has been criticised by Opposition parties and economists.

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