1) Promises never fulfilled
I fully support the Marathas. They are right in staging a bandh. Last time when they staged a total bandh in Mumbai, they were promised job reservations in government organisations by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. But even after several months, our Chief Minister has not kept his promise. You cannot even trust our Prime Minister. Both the CM and the PM are liars and keep making promises which are never fulfilled. They take the common man for a ride.
– Jubel D’Cruz
2) GST rate cut – Enforce Anti-Profiteering Law
The recent cuts in GST rates on several items like sanitary napkins, TV sets, refrigerators etc has virtually become practically infructuous due to several reasons separately for each of the commodity. Sanitary napkins are to be cheaper only by negligible 1-2 per cent that too only if manufacturers do not violate the provision of Anti-Profiteering Law by absorbing relief-part in ex-factory price. With the provision of Input-Tax-Credit (ITC) on manufacturing sanitary napkins and GST on items used in their manufacture remains same, effective relief will be just about 2 per cent rather than 12 per cent.
GST should be simplified at root level by having ITC provision only for trading, abolishing the same for manufacturing and service sectors. Extra-ordinary relief by doing with ITC provision can be utilised to have just two new GST slabs of 10 and 30 per cent apart from some higher multiples of 50 per cent to do away with confusing cess. Even lower slabs of zero, quarter, 3 and 5 per cent be then abolished. Items of long-term use like refrigerators, TV sets, air-conditions for one-time purchase should be placed in a higher slab.
There is utter confusion about the reduction of GST slab on items like refrigerators and TV sets. There are reports that such relief in bringing down GST from 28 per cent to 18 per cent is only for outdated Direct-Cool refrigerators and not on commonly purchased frost-free refrigerators. Likewise, GST relief is said to be only on TV sets of up to 24-inch screens which have a very poor market. There are also reports that manufacturers of such items are planning to raise ex-factory price to deny benefits to consumers. Strict enforcement of Anti-Profiteering Law can prevent such anti-consumer tactics.
– Subhash Chandra Agrawal
3) Make ID proof must while filing complaints
It is quite usual that many complainants while filing complaints against government employees and others paid from the public-exchequer, mark copies to dozens of authorities like President, Prime Minister, CAG, CVC, Chief Justice of India and many others even though the original complaint is to be dealt by some single agency. Many-a-times, anonymous and fake complaints in name of others mainly involved in public causes are also filed.
Such practice unnecessarily involves huge man hours and resources of so many public authorities. Even though there are said to be some government guidelines in this respect, yet the Department of Personnel and Training should issue fresh guidelines in this regard with due publicity through advertisements in newspapers and TV channels. To avoid filing fake complaints in the name of others, it should be made compulsory to attach a copy of ID proof of the complainant with every complaint. Complaints filed with copies to multiple authorities should be filed without any action. Advisories in this regard should be marked to every public authority and government department.
– Madhu Agrawal
4) Homes to get costlier with 1% surcharge on stamp duty!
The state government’s decision to levy a surcharge on stamp duty of 1 per cent on property transactions comes as a shock. This levy is over and above the stamp duty, Registration charges and GST one pays on all such transactions which destroy the concept of one single tax in the form of GST which the government had promised and advocated. The very concept of affordable housing has gone for a toss as the government miss no opportunity to tax citizens at their own whims and fancies.
Property rates in our country in general and Mumbai in particular, are one of the costliest in the world. A shelter over the head is a dream for many in a city where homes have become unaffordable. Builders too are struggling with their inventories and this new levy comes as a shock to a sector which is in the doldrums. Nations development depends upon its infrastructure and government needs to encourage the sector with concessions and incentives but the opposite has been witnessed that needs to be urgently rectified!
5) Is our country going to be Lynchistan?
A ‘Gau rakshak’ informs police that they are going to beat him to death, then 31-year-old Akbar from Alwar lynched by cow vigilantes of VHP and brutally injured, police reached after he was battered mercilessly. However, this cruelty does not stop here, rather police give cows priority to Akbar by taking cows to Gaushala 10 km away within 2 hours while Akbar was brought to Community Health Service 6 km away after 3 hours. Hence, he could not bear his wounds and died. This whole tragedy causes to raise many questions. Is police also biased? Are we living among the goons who are higher handed than police? Are they as fearless as they don’t bother even law? Let alone humanity! Is our country still a largest secular country in the world in a real sense? Is our country going to be Lynchistan? Oh God, have mercy upon our country!
6) Raise voices against extremism
An activist and spiritual leader, Swami Agnivesh was punched, pushed and kicked to the ground by the BJP workers because he speaks of peace, secularism, fraternity and communal harmony which reflects that this battle is not between Hindu and Muslim. This is the fight between Hindutva extremists and the secular people. And this is an open warning and threatening to all peace lovers and secularists, no matter he is a Muslim or a Hindu, that if you oppose Hindutva, you will also be put to death, you will also be mob-lynched. So it’s high time for all of us to cast aside our religion for the one noble cause and raise voices against this extremism before it’s too late.
– Ismail Ansari
7) Prevent road accidents – a clarion call
Jaguar vehicle losing control and ploughs the car into at least six vehicles and injuring two pedestrians at Andheri West is one more case of negligent driving in the heart of the city. The RTO should be stringent in issuing the license to negligent drivers in future to avoid fatal mishaps. The main reason for this is rash and negligent driving. Motor drivers forget about the danger and drive rather fast and without any concern for the others on the road already. Drunken driving is the root cause for rash driving. To avoid road accidents proper strictures will have to be passed on all the roads without fail. It is time to check traffic rule violations of jumping signals, breaking no entry barrier and over speeding within the city limits.
– Akhilesh Krishnan
8) Disaster on the cards
After the Elphinstone stampede, spectre returned to haunt commuters after Delisle bridge closure. The Lower Parel bridge shutdown leads to a near stampede and has become another recipe for disaster. The Gokhale Bridge in Andheri did make a difference and the Lower Parel bridge closure came in the wake disasters on the western line of local trains in the recent past. Hundreds of jittery Mumbaikars, who negotiated an extremely rickety and narrow bridge in Lower Parel in the peak hour were nagged by the memories of the Elphinstone Road stampede. The overcrowding ordeal in this pocket was caused by the thrust upon them after the closure of one side of the busy Lower Parel station bridge. Anyway, disaster prevented as of now but the fear continues to haunt passengers travelling through local trains.
– Arati Abhishek
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)