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Letters to the Editor: December 10, 2018

Income Tax search on private locker-vaults

It refers to Income Tax officers continuing to wait for those having taken on-rent lockers operated by a private firm in Khari Baoli area of Old Delhi which is the prominent business hub for wholesale trade of many commodities. Only one-third out of total about 150 lockers are till date opened because of lack of regulatory norms for taking these privately-operated lockers on hire with rent running into some lakhs of rupees annually. Already about Rs 35 crores have been detected from the opened lockers. Earlier also similar search in South Extension area of New Delhi resulted in the seizure of heavy unaccounted cash.

Such privately operated lockers operating till late evening are a necessary evil because India does not have the facility of night banking where traders may be able to deposit accounted cash of the daily sale-proceeds. However, much-required regulations including the provision of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) reported regularly to some regulatory body can prevent misuse of such privately operated lockers for keeping unaccounted cash. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should urgently sort out some mechanism for compulsory registration of privately-operated locker-vaults fixing suitable norms like KYC, failing which complete cash and other valuables seized from unregistered private locker-vaults may be treated as income of those operating unregistered private vaults.

– Madhu Agrawal

Media reports on the appointment of new Commissioners at CIC

Media reports indicate that central government is going to appoint four new Commissioners in addition to existing three at Central Information Commission (CIC). Newly built CIC building at New Delhi has provision for total eleven Commissioners including Chief Information Commissioner as per maximum strength of Commissioners provided under the law.

CIC Bhawan has the provision of offices of four commissioners each on two floors while one floor has provision for offices of Chief Information Commissioner and two other Commissioners. Since with new addition of four Commissioners, there will be Chief Information Commissioner and six other Commissioners offices of whom can be accommodated in two floors. To save electricity and maintenance cost, one floor with the provision of offices of four Commissioners should be closed for present till central government decides to add more Commissioners. It is significant that floors housing offices of Commissioners and Chief Information Commissioner do not have an office of any other office-bearer or functionary at CIC.

– Subhash Chandra Agrawal

India retains the top position as recipient

It is a very good news for all of us, that India is going to retain its position as the world’s top recipient of remittances this year with its diaspora sending a whopping $80 billion back according to the global lender, India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each), and the Egypt ($26 billion)— there are huge distance between India and other countries. I hope that with this, India definitely will develop widely and will remain on the top position forever, as well as poverty, starvation, and farmer’s problems will eradicate soon, and they will live a pleasant life.

– Shakir Ayyubi

Exit Polls Predictions encouraging for Congress

What was predicted by exit polls is encouraging for Congress party to regain their recognition once again and a lesson for BJP party that no longer the hoi polloi cannot be made fool by making promises based on mouthing only. It seems that the masses understood that the BJP was misleading them towards “Divide and Rule” —playing with religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslims and now they had started “Diverse and Rule” policy asking questions about Nehru and Congress casting aside all promises which were made in 2014 general election. Exit polls also demonstrated that the vox pop is not as real and ground level as some media houses show regarding BJP.

As far as reality is concerned that people are too sick and tired of the BJP government to bother more. However, these exit polls predictions remain to be seen accurately. That will be proved on the results day and whatever results will come it would have great significance for each and every party in 2019 Lok Sabha election. I am quite hopeful that the results will be as good as exit polls prediction.

– A Zafar

Gods come to the rescue but govt’s priorities questionable!

Rs 500 crore interest-free loan from Sai Baba Trust for irrigation projects in Maharashtra may be for a noble cause but the government has its priorities wrong as why should they spend over Rs 3500 crores on Shivaji’s statue if their coffers and financial chests are empty? Indian temples are rich with funds but those funds should be utilised for public hospitals, schools, to feed those dying of malnutrition and hunger.

Taxes and loans from financial institutions should be utilised for the completion of public projects. Why should temple trusts give interest-free loans to the government? Maharashtra government should pay interest on loans they have received and Trusts can use the interest amount to help the sick and the needy. We pray to Almighty but God doesn’t expect us to offer him money in return for favours. The money offered by devotees should be utilised for a better purpose of helping mankind than as free loans to the government!

– SN Kabra

7 million deaths due to air pollution

It is a very sorrowful moment that air pollution has caused 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated $5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally. The same human activities that are establishing the earth’s climate also contribute directly to poor health; this report was released on Wednesday in Poland. The health burden of polluting energy sources is now so high that moving to cleaner and sustainable choices for energy supply, transport and food systems effectively pays for itself. I appeal to the recent government especially Delhi and Maharashtra to pay full attention to this important issue, otherwise, a large number of people may suffer from dangerous diseases.

– Najmul Huda

India’s most powerful satellite launched

It was heartening to learn that India’s heaviest satellite GST-11, that would boost broadband services in the country, was successfully launched by an Arianespace rocket from French Guiana. It is the heaviest, largest and most powerful satellite ever built by India. Of course, it will be a major milestone for the country’s space programme, which would transform the lives of crores of Indians by connecting remote areas. I extend my deepest congratulations to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for this incredible achievement. The entire country feels proud of ISRO to keep on innovating and setting high standards of scale, achievements and success. I wish India to go further ahead in science and technology and to achieve full equipment of modern technology.

– Mohd Faheem

UP’s CM must ensure people’s safety

It refers to the latest clash that took place in a village in Bulandshahr district of UP and led to the killing of a police inspector and a youth. I would request UP’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath that instead of suggesting new names of Muslim cities and towns, dragging names of revered personalities of Islam, he should restore a sense of safety among the people of Uttar Pradesh. Because the mob-violence is threatening all over the state, women are being molested in a broad daylight and lawlessness is prevailing all across. The innocent people are being lynched by mobs only in the suspicion of involvement in a crime. So, he must ensure the safety of people rather than to deliver rhetorical speeches to manipulate the people’s mind from core issues.

– FT Mulla

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