IOC ads of 10% payback on petrol through digital payment
Presently TV-advertisements by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are in plenty about 10 per cent pay-back on the purchase of petrol-diesel through the digital mode of payment. The central government had earlier started. 75 per cent pay-back if petrol and diesel are purchased through credit or debit cards from every petrol-pump of any public-sector oil-company to encourage cashless payments after demonetisation of old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8, 2016.
It is beyond understanding why and how IOC alone can provide 10-percent pay-back rather and 75 per cent by other oil companies. Now, with people already adopting card-payments at petrol-pumps, the incentive for cashless payments at petrol-pumps should be totally withdrawn or else it should be same for all public-sector oil-companies rather than just IOC advertising 10 per cent pay-back if digitally paid.
All public-sector oil-companies dealing in the retail sale of petrol and diesel should be merged to save heavy overheads and advertising costs. Net payable retail-price of petrol, diesel, and CNG should be rounded in multiples of Re 1 while of LPG refill in multiples of Rs 50 also to prevent daily fluctuation in prices of oil products.
Adopt amicable technology
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has been striving to bring in necessary electoral reforms to conduct ‘free and fair’ elections. The introduction of a voter-id card was one such innovation that revolutionised the polling process and weed out dubious voters. The extent of dubious voters may still prevail owing to archaic paperwork related constraints to update the voter list including duplicate voters, deleted voters and transposed voters.
The ECI has also been following an archaic method to curb dubious and fraudulent voting by marking indelible ink in the finger of every voter post casting a ballot. The ink reflects of having cast a vote successfully and prevents any further voting process owing to the inevitable impression mark on the finger. It is ironical to note that in an era which witnessed many innovations thanks to technology, the ECI still relies on obsolete silver nitrate-based inedible ink to identify ‘genuine’ voters in a polling process. It is now high time that ECI brings up an innovative strategy to identify dubious and fraudulent voters with the help of advanced technological revolution and just let go of ink marking fingers.
The ECI should strive to do away with the archaic method of marking inedible ink on a voter’s fingers. It should instead adopt necessary amicable technology friendly solutions like a digital voter signature, online verification of voters, linking of voters to id cards post polling etc. to curb fraudulent voters and provide more opportunities to genuine voters.
ECI in future should further show necessary consideration to professionals in the field of healthcare, agriculture, handloom, food processing, dairy farming etc., as they may perhaps be averse to the defunct method of indelible ink mark on the fingers post casting a successful ballot.
Coastal road is cleared but there is road divider as well
Coastal road project gets Centre’s green light finally and it is clear for the much relief of the road users of Mumbai. Mumbai’s infrastructure projects are getting shape one by one and the part 2 of 9 coastal road has got the final clearance. The project cleared hurdle after environment ministry’s expert committee’s approved work on the second phase of 9.98 km road connecting Marine Drive and Kandivali will start soon. The much-awaited coastal road plan is a boon. However, the project gets affluent people out on the streets protesting as residents seek guarantees that this is not just another land grab and much worried about the proposal of creating large open spaces. It is indeed a dream come true project for the Mumbaikars. Though it is not a new idea, the coastal freeway has received an impetus under the present government in the state of Maharashtra, which feels that the freeway road is desperately needed to improve movement of Mumbai’s traffic. It is indeed a gift for the Mumbaikars but how the proposal will turn in the wake of large scale reclamation complaints in executing the project successfully.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)