On Sunday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the introduction of an alternative tax regime in the Union Budget is to take the country towards "a simplified, exemption-free and reduced rate of tax regime," a PTI report said.
However, there was no timeframe set by the government to remove all exemptions, she told reporters after an interactive session with trade representatives and intellectuals on the Union Budget.
At the Union Budget 2020 presentation on 1 February, a new and optional tax regime was introduced that has more tax slabs and lesser tax rates that one can opt for if they are willing to let go of all existing exemptions and deductions like those that can be availed on home loan interest and life insurance premium payments.
"At the moment we only started a second alternative with some exemptions removed or some exemptions included, although the original intention was to remove all exemptions and give a clear simplified reduced rate of income tax," Sitharaman said.
"We have not made up our minds as yet (on the removal of all exemptions)... We are trying step by step, move forward and no particular timeline given," she said when asked about the timeframe for the removal.