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HomeOpinionLetters to the Editor: Oct 23, 2018

Letters to the Editor: Oct 23, 2018

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1) Make pro-active disclosure by Pvt bodies compulsory

Central government through DoPT should issue an order to cover all Public-Private-Partnerships PPPs, sports-bodies, cooperative-societies and other such bodies affecting lives of millions to be directly under RTI Act to avoid usual ex-party stay-orders by courts on CIC-verdicts obtained after much effort. Several division-benches of the Supreme Court have repeatedly endorsed the bitter fact of ex-party stay-orders followed by regular adjournments to be a lacuna of our justice-delivery-system.

The RTI Act can also be considered to be applied to private companies having turn-overs over some stipulated amount especially for those related to consumer products or services. For rest, others provision of pro-active disclosures of certain basic information may be made compulsory on websites.

Even the Central Chief Information Commission in a media-interview indicated that the Central Information Commission is deliberating on a mechanism for pro-active disclosures by private entities involved in public-work. The statement came after it was noted in a CIC-verdict that even though four million candidates appear every year for examinations conducted by Institute of Banking Personnel Selection IBPS, it is not a public authority under the RTI Act.

Many aspects of day-to-day life like banking and telecommunications are presently dominated by the private sector with a lot of malpractices to mint money. Even cooperative-giant IFFCO gifting properties worth hundreds of crores to its office-bearers out of profits minted through annual fertiliser-subsidies worth tens of thousands of crores is not a public authority under the RTI Act.

– Madhu Agrawal


2) Better but not ideal

Data released by the Income Tax Department showing an appreciable rise in a number of tax-payers and those in slabs above Rs 1 crore per annum may be better than earlier years, but is not at all realistic with just 81344 individuals in a country of more than 135 crores. Data like in earlier years reveals that maximum Income Tax and Tax-Deducted-At-Source TDS comes from salaries class that too with a large share from government-employees. It is also noteworthy that more than half of Income Tax collected comes from two states. Best is to replace Income Tax by Expenditure Tax so that tax may come from expenses made from both white and black money.

The Income Tax Department should study models of tax-system from countries with highest honesty-index like New Zealand, Denmark, and advanced countries like the US where tax-returns are voluntarily filed in a realistic manner. New-to-be introduced the Income Tax Act to replace half-century old Act of 1961 should incorporate features so that people may pay Income Tax cheerfully and voluntarily rather than under panic of tax-authorities. India should be turned gradually in a cashless country targeting bigger transactions rather than ordinary people.

Maximum cash-withdrawal limit from banks for an individual should be fixed at Rs 96,000 per month to be gradually reduced to Rs 48,000 per month. All expenses above Rs 1,000 may be compulsorily made through banks. All payments including part-payments above Rs 20,000 towards sale-purchase may be made compulsorily through banks. All purchases of long-lasting items in costlier versions like even TV sets, refrigerators, cars may require PAN-card, and be reported to Income-tax Department to match luxury expenses with disclosed income.

GST system should be drastically overhauled so that GST-bills not demanded by the customers may not be sold to avail Input-Tax-Credit ITC. For this GST rates should be 10 and 30 per cent abolishing even zero per cent slab with ITC-system applicable only for trade-purposes, abolishing it from service and manufacturing sectors and service-sector coming under 10 per cent GST-slab. For commodities attracting cess, additional GST-slabs in multiples of 100-percent may be there. All traders in GST-network may be compulsorily equipped with card-swapping machines and required to give an invoice without being asked for by customers.

– Subhash Chandra Agrawal


3) Harassment needs strict law

Every woman in our country has faced harassment in her life at one time or the other. Hence, it’s time that the government brought laws clearly defining the boundaries of what is permissible and what is not. Shaming others to gain fame and publicity should be discouraged. When courts are there, using the media to settle scores should be discouraged. Time to move on is important. As the Winston Churchill saying goes, “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

Just because Bollywood film actor Nana Patekar is doing social work, the police cannot arrest him on molestation charges on Tanushree Dutta, a film actress. Tell me, what social work is he doing? Ask him to do the social work Mother Teresa was doing taking care of lepers. Every person in this work has a dark side too. One should not go on appearances. Today, women are not at all safe in our country. Money also plays an important part. If you have the money, you will not be arrested if you bribe the police.

– Jubel D’Cruz


4) Religion Traders

Yes, now the election campaign has started in a real sense — without the Ram Temple issue, the election campaign is incomplete. On one hand, standoffish BJP ally Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, hoping to make a splash at its rally and to ratchet up pressure on the Modi government, accused the Centre of exploiting the Ram Temple issue for political purposes and forgetting its promise to build the Temple. On the other hand, by demanding an ordinance and legislation for construction of the Ram Temple, the paradoxical RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat did a preemptive strike on Shiv Sena. Why till today Shiv Sena and RSS were mum on this matter? The Elections are coming near, so they recognise Shri Ram? Why does RSS talk about politics while they claim to be a social-cultural organisation? Why are they enchanting Ram Mandir issue while the case is in court? It is really ironical that despite twirling and swiveling this issue over and over again, they still think they can coalesce people on this vexed issue. People should understand that these so-called Hindus are not Religion Protectors but Religion Traders. I would rather suggest them to ask the government about unemployment, which is at its peak; they should also question that why our economy is derailing day by day if they are really concerned about the Hindus and the Hindu religion.

– Q Qasmi


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

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