Read the following passage and answer the following questions. Some words are Underlined to help you answer some of the questions.
At the COP26, which concluded in Glasgow last week, India rightly emphasised that rich countries should help poor countries to develop their renewable energy capacities. But the West is likely to be to selfish in paying all its dues and poor countries may well have to help themselves to make the transition that society urgently needs. One source of funding could well be the well-off citizens of India, _______.
A 2018 Oxfam report revealed that 10 per cent of the richest Indians garnered 77.4 per cent of the nation’s wealth (compared to 73 per cent the year before). In fact, according to the report, 58 per cent of India’s wealth was in the hands of one percent of the country’s population (about one percent of the world’s population controls 50 per cent of the world’s wealth). The combined income of this handful of people in 2017 was almost as much as India’s budget that year. In 2017, the fortune of India’s 100 richest tycoons leaped by 26 per cent.
The IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List of 2019 identified the 953 richest families in India. It revealed that their fortune represented more than 26 per cent of the country’s GDP — which meant that a tax rate of four per cent on the nation’s 953 richest families would give the government the equivalent of one per cent of India’s GDP. According to Crédit Suisse, the number of dollar millionaires in India has jumped from 34,000 in 2000 to 7,59,000 in 2019 — in other words, the country has one of “the world’s fastest-growing population of millionaires”. The average wealth of these millionaires has increased by 74 per cent over this period.
Surprisingly, the taxation policy of the government, instead of making the exchequer benefit from this trend, has actively strengthened it. One of the first decisions of the Narendra Modi government was to replace the wealth tax by an income tax increase of two per cent for households that earned more than 10 million rupees annually. Then, the corporate tax was lowered, for existing companies from 30 per cent to 22 per cent, and for manufacturing firms incorporated after October 1, 2019 that started operations before March 31, 2023, from 25 to 15 per cent — the biggest reduction in 28 years.
The Union budget has been geared towards pleasing the middle class. In the 2019-20 budget, the income tax exemption limit jumped from Rs 2,00,000 to 2,50,000 and the tax rate for incomes up to Rs 5 lakh was reduced from 10 to 5 per cent. The tax on an income of Rs 10 lakh dropped from Rs 1,10,210 to Rs 75,000. This taxation policy deprived the state of important resources. To (partly) compensate for the decline of direct taxes, the government has increased indirect taxes, unfairly so, whereas they affect all Indians irrespective of their income.
Q. Which of the following connectors would replace the underlined connector “whereas”?