Wednesday, July 9, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Inclusion of scrap in I-T amendment
will harm Punjab

The Finance Bill 2003 amended the provision of Section 206-C of the Income-Tax Act, 1961. Since 1988, this section was applicable only for country liquor and forest products. Indian made foreign liquor and scrap were added in this Finance Bill. Under tax collection at source, 10 per cent tax is deductible on them. The provision took effect from June 1, 2003.

The IMFL lobby, with a turn over of about Rs 28,000 crore, is very strong. Following pressure on the Finance Minister by Chief Ministers of southern states, the effective date for IMFL has been postponed to September, 2003. They argued that for 10 per cent TCS, the profit has to be 30 per cent. The same argument holds good for scrap as well. Scrap is a major input for industries dealing with iron and steel, yarn, hosiery, paper industry and non-ferrous units. All sectors of industry are adversely affected by this provision.

About 40 per cent of direct tax is collected through TCS and another 40 per cent through advance taxes. Only 20 per cent tax is collected through assessment and other means. Scrap was added in a hurry without studying the ground realities.

The Finance Ministry knew the draconian provision on TCS. Sections 190 to 206 of the Income-Tax Act provide the detailed framework of law regarding TDS. The Finance Bill 2003 modified Section 191.


Clearly, there was no need for including scrap in Section 206-C. Other laws are enough to bring scrap trade into the Income-Tax net. The circuitous route of TCS will take a heavy toll of industry in all segments.

The Karlekar panel wanted less interface between taxpayer and tax authorities to reduce corruption in the issuance of certificate. It advised a procedure by which non-taxpayers would not have to share the same burden of compliance cost as other taxpayers. As Punjab is the worst affected state, the Chief Minister should take up the issue with the Union Finance Minister for justice.

P.D. SHARMA, President, Apex Chamber of Commerce & Industry (Punjab), Ludhiana

Do serials glorify or vilify women?

Lipstick, Kum Kum, Kahani Ghar-2 Ki are just a few serials which present two kinds of women — one is the typical sari-clad Indian woman, loaded with jewellery and making sacrifices. The other is the one busy in hatching conspiracies against her own kith and kin and making others’ lives a hell.

These serials are supposed to entertain the viewers. But do they provide any entertainment at all? Do they depict the real portrait of woman in the role of wife, mother or other relation? Serials show women either crying because of their husbands’ extra-marital affairs or their adherence to orthodox values.

Only a few serials show the traditional harmless, middle class Indian woman — how she fights against heavy odds because of her honest and positive approach. While Kasauti Zindagi Ki is all about making sacrifices for the loved ones, characters like Kusum, Parvati are becoming the role models of today’s contemporary Indian women. They are not only trendsetters but also encourage the present lot.

True, efforts are on to produce value-based serials, but the record so far has been disappointing. They just add extra emotions to woo the viewers. Clearly, serial makers should concentrate on those which will not only glorify women but also strike a balance between the reel and the real life incidents.


PAN cards

The issuance of PAN cards through the Unit Trust of India-Investor Services Limited is welcome. The assessee shall be assured (as claimed) of getting PAN card within 15 days, and also the UTI shall have another source of income.

The Finance Ministry is not satisfied with the slow working of the Income-tax officers. Many of them were ill-equipped with the basic requirements in Form 49A for allotment of PAN. Employees in one office say something and in another raise objection. They do not listen to reason.

The UTI-ISL should start accepting Forms 49A in any of all 500 centres in India, irrespective of the jurisdiction of the Income-tax office. A person sitting in New Delhi be permitted to apply at Jalandhar by supplying correct particulars.

S.K. HANS, Chartered Accountant, Jalandhar

Niazi’s weapon

This has reference to the report on General A.A.K. Niazi’s weapon (June 30). The published file photograph of the weapon clearly shows that it is a revolver and not a pistol. Surely, the media ought to know the difference between a revolver and a pistol. In a revolver, the chamber housing the cartridges revolves every time the trigger is pressed as opposed to a pistol where the case containing the cartridges is inserted into the chamber provided in the ‘hand-grip’ of the pistol and the weapon fires automatically when the trigger is pressed.

Actually, the weapon which Gen. Niazi surrendered is a service revolver as confirmed by Lt.-Gen J. F. R. Jacob. The transfer of this weapon from Gen.Jagjit Singh Aurora’s possession to the IMA’s Museum took place in mid-seventies, when I too happened to be serving in the Eastern Command Head Quarters. Whether the revolver actually belonged to Gen. Niazi or was given to him for the ritualistic “Surrender Ceremony”, its significance as regards the historic surrender is concerned is not diminished.

The stolen pistol (if it was a pistol and not revolver) which was exhibited at the Maritime Heritage Hall of the National Museum, may have belonged to Admiral Sharief which was taken away by Admiral Krishnan. The Maritime Heritage Hall, which as the name signifies, pertains to the Naval wing, would be the right place for exhibition of the Admiral’s surrendered weapon.

H.S. CHANDEL, Malangur, Unia (HP)

Traffic violations

Tourists as well as locals at Shimla are well aware that as the vehicles which ply on the mall between Chhotta Shimla and lift, AG’s office and DC’s office belong to important persons from Shimla and outside, no one dare raise a voice against their manner of driving i.e flashing of blue/red lights, driving on full beam, speeding and overtaking, taking sharp cuts on curves etc. This causes inconvenience to the public, particularly to old women and children walking on these routes to reach the mall or ridge.

These traffic violations dazzle the pedestrians particularly after sunset. The traffic police remain mute spectators as they do not have suitable instructions from their superiors to check these violations. The authorities concerned and vehicle owners should look into this aspect before any unfortunate incident takes place.


Stop politicking

Apropos of the editorial “Panchayat spirit triumphs” (July 1), politicking has become the way of life. During the last fortnight, Punjab’s villages have experienced the worst-ever politicking.

For majority of the candidates, contesting and winning an election has become the goal. Admittedly, unlike the traditional village camaraderie, this time, we were witness to treachery, intrigues and counter-intrigues. This has resulted in rivalries and enmity among the villagers. Consider, for instance, the poll-related violence leading to the death of four persons.

I request all MLAs and MPs not to politicise the village life. Amid poverty, illiteracy and unemployment, is India ready to fulfill its 73rd and 74th constitutional obligation? Or do our politicians want to fool the people in the name of the Constitution?

Do not impose the developmental model from the top. Let it emerge from below on its own For this, the basic necessities of life will have to be fulfilled first after homework. Only then, one should experiment with politics which at present is eating into the fabric of village India.

AVTAR SINGH MULLANPUR, Mandi Mullanpur (Ludhiana)

Ban manual boring

I would like to draw the attention of the Punjab government to the disturbing trend of manual boring for submersible pumps in the fields. Come paddy season, this activity will be in full swing though the manual technique is unscientific and hazardous. I urge the government to ban this inhuman practice which continues unabated in spite of frequent accidents and loss of innocent lives.



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