A hashtag campaign, #TaxesAccheHain (‘taxes are good’), set Twitter abuzz on Monday, a couple of days before the presentation of the Union Budget, and led to widespread speculation that the hashtag campaign was an effort to drum up support for higher service tax, which will be announced on Feb 1.
Earlier today, several reports claimed that on the day of the Union Budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley may hike service tax rate to 16-18% (from the current 15%) ahead of the goods and services tax (GST) rollout.
There were hundreds of tweets with the hashtag ‘#TaxesAccheHain’, most of them posted on Monday morning. A few samples:
Be a proud Indian by paying taxes and giving your bit towards a strong country #TaxesAccheHain
— Vinita (@cutestrocker) January 30, 2017
Economist Ajit Ranade speculated on Twitter whether the hashtag campaign was a coordinated effort to create a positive feedback loop for higher service taxes. This won’t be the first time such hashtag campaigns, sometimes created by supporters of the government, have taken to Twitter to popularise government initiatives and policies (such as demonetisation).
However, it now appears that the hashtag campaign may have been started by Mahindra Mutual Funds.
#TaxesAccheHain – Some agree, some don’t but everyone has a right to opinion. Join the conversation! https://t.co/fIcQhu9sNI pic.twitter.com/DYPFzgwsY4
— Mahindra Mutual Fund (@MahindraMF) January 30, 2017
Oh and of course, there were some jokes as well:
Are people trending “TaxesAccheHain” paying any tax on the money they get fore trending hashtags?
— Sandeep Kadian (@GappistanRadio) January 30, 2017