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Letters to the Editor: April 28, 2019

Agriculture loans at subsidised interest-rates

Former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi in his Facebook-post has made a shocking revelation said to have been obtained under RTI Act and published in a social media that every year from 2010 to 2016 about 700 people were given total agricultural-loans of about Rs 60,000 crores every year with an average of about Rs 90 crores per individual every year on a highly subsidised nominal rate of just four per cent per annum. This is just a mockery of the economy where ultra-rich are getting tax-exemptions in name income from agriculture, and such heavy loans at a highly subsidised rate of just four per cent per annum. It may not be surprising if some of these might have availed loan-waivers granted in name of agricultural loans.

There must be a limit of loans sanctioned by banks in name of agricultural loans so that only really needy poor farmers may take advantage of heavy subsidy on interest-rates. Moreover, to avoid whitening of black money in name of tax-free agricultural income, provision of tax-exemption on agricultural income should have some limit of say Rs 5 lakhs that too when the total income declared may not exceed Rs 10 lakhs in a year.

Madhu Agrawal

Delhi RTI Act 2001 needs immediate repeal

This is in reference to order dated August 8, 2018, in WPC 8278 of 2018 in the matter ANIL DUTT SHARMA versus GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI AND ORS. wherein the court has specifically mentioned – This Court is of the prima facie view that the Right To Information Act, 2005 would now override the Delhi Right To Information Act, 2001 as it would occupy the entire legislative field.

Demand to repeal since meaningless Delhi-Right-To-Information-Act, 2001 (DRTI Act) is being made ever since much popular Right-To-Information-Act, 2005 (RTI Act) came into force in the year 2005. DRTI Act has lost all relevance with RTI Act in existence, and only a very few applications are now being filed under DRTI Act, with most officers of Delhi Government being totally unaware about provisions of DRTI Act. Complete infrastructure is set up at all about 200 departments and bodies under Delhi Government to handle just very few applications filed under DRTI Act thus unnecessarily wasting precious public resources.

Now at least with rightful observations made by Delhi High Court, DRTI Act should be repealed immediately without any further delay.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

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

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