Wednesday, March 28, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Taxman’s dirty cut

This has reference to the editorial, Taxman’s dirty cut (March 15). It is an open secret that the leaders and bureaucrats of our country have formed a nexus to loot the government and the people. Perhaps there is no government department which is free from corruption. Every government job has a price. One has to spend a good deal to get into government service and then to get posting and transfer to premier stations. These employees multiply such investment in the early period of their postings. Undoubtedly, a major chunk of this loot is passed on to the big bosses and leaders in power.

Corruption has reached its peak as nobody has ever cared to check this menace. The tardy and cumbersome taxation system is mainly responsible for the growth of black money. To check this, the government should impose a heavy duty at the manufacturing state and thereafter there should be no tax of any type. Adequate number of men should be posted at manufacturing units to check the evasion of duty. The salaries of leaders and bureaucrats should be increased substantially and perks should be abolished.

D. P. JINDAL, Mandi Gobindgarh

Defence production

The Union Finance Minister will have to pay attention to certain anomalies in his Budget. Defence stores produced by ordnance factories and government units are exempted from the payment of excise duty but the private sector producing similar stores faces an increase of 32 per cent in the excise duty. While on the one hand the Defence Minister and the Ministry of Defence Production and Supplies have been urging the private sector to produce defence stores, the present budget offers a raw deal to the private sector, besides discriminating between different units manufacturing defence stores. Since the ordnance factories, the government-owned factories and the private sector industries are producing similar items, they deserve a similar treatment in the matter of levies.

H. S. MALIK, Chandigarh


Criminalised Bihar

The transfer of the SP and DM of Siwan by the Bihar Government is another step towards criminalisation of the state. Men like Shahabuddin have established hegemonies where they are a law unto themselves. Thirty cases of murder and intimidation stand registered against Shahabuddin. The RJD government’s steps to rescue him time and again exposes its dependence on such elements to stay in power. It is ironical that these law breakers enter Parliament and form part of the law-making process of the country.

These criminals will continue to thrive as long as our leaders are obsessed with power. The people can show these criminals their right place by exercising the right to vote in favour of honest and selfless candidates. The Constitution Review Committee should ensure that the election process is freed from the influence of criminal elements through practices such as booth capturing and intimidation of voters.

Right now in Bihar, it is time for the Central Government to intervene and prevent a revolt in the police force. Bihar is now a fit case for imposing President’s rule.




‘Low’ level of corruption

The Tehelka tapes have created a ruckus in high circles. None of the political parties seems interested in curbing corruption.

While discussing the episode at a marriage party, a middle rung bureaucrat, obviously in an inebriated state, wondered at the “low” level of corruption at “high” places. “Just a gold chain and a few lakhs of rup7ees”, he exclaimed. “We refuse to accept this much even on Diwali!”


Ruchika case

It seems everyone has forgotten the Ruchika-Rathore case. The case is proceeding at a snail’s pace in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ambala, Mr A.K. Tyagi.

On Feb 11, Mr Tyagi adjourned the case to March 12, saying that the court was awaiting the High Court’s orders on a plea filed by Rathore, challenging the condoning of the delay in filing the case. The judge, however, maintained that if the High Court’s orders were not received by then, the case would proceed further.

On March 12, the judge again adjourned the case till April 18 on the same ground. The former DGP is exempted from personal appearance each time on medical grounds.

The case came up after a delay of 10 years. At this rate, it will be a long time before the case is decided.


Ban on tobacco ads

The proposed ban on tobacco advertising, though conceived as a welfare measure with good intentions, is not likely to achieve the objective of protecting the health of the people, unless means are found to educate the masses about the adverse effects of tobacco on health.

Instead of merely banning the advertising of tobacco products, the revenue from such products should be used for publicising the ill-effects of tobacco. Tobacco advertising does not kill, consumption of tobacco does. And this will continue even if there is no advertising. The government should undertake an active programme of imparting knowledge to the people about the harmful effects of tobacco.

R. N. LAKHOTIA, New Delhi


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