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Letters to the Editor: 30 January, 2020

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25000 rotis (bread) wasted daily in Tihar jail 

It refers to shocking media reports about 25000 rotis (bread) wasted daily in Tihar jail of Delhi because prisoners usually do not take their full diet out of mental tension. Report reveals that situation is more prevalent in under-trial prisoners which form majority of jail-inmates, while those having been convicted and sentenced take better diet.

System should be modified whereby food may be cooked for prisoners on daily average-basis rather than prescribed diet-norms to avoid such large-scale wastage of food including rotis (bread). It does not take much time to prepare more rotis (bread) in case quantity is somehow felt short after cooked food is exhausted. Further steps can be taken to utilize surplus rotis (bread) for production of biscuits in jail-workshop by installing machine to dry cooked bread.

Madhu Agrawal

The right to protest in a free society

Some people who do not have knowledge of history say that there is no benefit in organizing protests. First I want to say to them that protest is the basic right of anyone which was granted by the Constitution. Protest is most powerful arms in any democratic country but it should be continued and with great enthusiasm. President of Sudan had to resign due to protests. Habib from Al- Jazayer couldn’t conduct election because of it. Hong Cong government passed an act which was unconstitutional and unsuitable for people. People began to raise voices against it then government had to give into public demand. Now look at BJP government who was assuring in Parliament to implement CAA and NRC has become frightened and struggling to find support.

M Qasmi Nadwi

Excessive taxation a social injustice on the people

Chief Justice of India just a few days before presentation of Union Budget at an event held to mark the 79th Foundation Ceremony of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal on January 24 has rightly observed excessive taxation as a social injustice on the people, and tax-evasion as a form of social injustice on fellow citizens.

Maximum Income-Tax rate for individuals was drastically reduced to 30-per cent following recommendations by Raja Chelliah Committee in the year 1993, giving desired results for increased tax-revenue with assesses smilingly complying with tax-laws. But subsequently with imposition of cess and surcharges, net highest effective income-tax rate has now become 42.75 per cent with data exhibiting that for the first time in last two decades, direct-tax collection in current fiscal-year of 2019-20 is likely to be less than that of earlier year.

Haphazard and irrational GST rate-structure with too many slabs and faulty Input-Tax-Credit system with an unreasonable and excessive GST-rate of 18-per cent on many items and on service-sector is resulting in creation of black money and increased cash-circulation of 20-per cent above than at time of demonetization.

Maximum effective Income-Tax rate should be restored to 30-per cent abolishing cess and surcharges. Permanent voluntary Disclosure Scheme can be introduced whereby declarants may be required to compulsorily invest 20-per cent of undisclosed income in long-term low-interest Infrastructure Bonds apart from 30-per cent highest Income Tax slab.

Likewise GST rates of 3, 5, 12, 18 and 28 percent may be reduced to two slabs of 10 and 30 per cent. Cess on luxury items may be replaced by additional GST slabs in multiples of 50 or 100 per cent. With such abolition of higher GST slabs of 12 and 18 per cent, Input-Tax-Credit can be retained only on trade-activities abolishing from manufacturing and service sectors. Some basic raw-materials in such a scenario like unbranded cotton and yarn can be put in zero tax-slab.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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