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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Union Budget a boost to farm sector

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, in the Union Budget for 2006-07, has given great relief to the farming community by lowering the interest on farm credit from 9 per cent to 7 per cent. The decision regarding increase in the level of farm credit to Rs 1,75,000 crore in the next fiscal is also appreciable.

Unfortunately, only 27 per cent of the farming community has access to institutional credit. To ensure the availability of farm credit to the remaining farming population, lending policies should be liberalised. Equally important is the productive use of loan. Otherwise, it will exacerbate rural indebtedness.

GURKIRPAL SINGH,

Chagran (Hoshiarpur)



Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief

 

II

Aam Admi, whom the UPA promised to help during the last Lok Sabha elections, want cheaper wheat and sugar and not small cars, soft drinks, ice cream and idli-dosa mixes which will now cost less for the convenience of the rich, courtesy Mr Chidambaram. Moreover, why give more funds to universities when there are no jobs?

Worse, the Budget doesn’t help senior citizens. Not all life saving drugs have been made cheaper. Heart patients, diabetics and hypertension patients have not been provided any relief in the Budget.

TINA BHARDWAJ, Patiala

III

By fixing the exemption limit of Rs 1.85 lakh in the Budget, senior citizens have been given a raw deal as their tax liability has increased. Senior citizens have to incur heavy expenditure due to the rising cost of medical treatment.

Despite repeated representations by senior citizens’ organisations to suitably increase the income-tax exemption limit, it continues to be pegged at the same level of Rs 1.85 lakh. We deserve a better deal. In all fairness, the exemption limit for senior citizens should be enhanced to Rs 2.25 lakh.

D.P. PIPLANI,

Secretary, Sr Citizens’ Council

(Haryana), Panchkula

IV

Senior citizens are very much dismayed at the Union Budget in the backdrop of skyrocketing prices of medicines and essential commodities. They were expecting some relief in the income-tax by way of increase in the exemption limit to Rs 2.5 lakh from Rs 1.85 lakh. But the Finance Minister has ignored them completely.

Mr Chidambaram has made a provision of 20,000 scholarships for minorities. This speaks of appeasement by robbing the majority and paying the minority.

K.B. SHARMA,

Ambala Cantonment

V

The Budget is pro-rich and anti-poor as domestic goods like kitchenware will become dearer and goods like cars, ice cream used by the rich will be cheaper. The common man has further been taxed with the increase in the scope of service tax.

Apparently, it is the only Budget in my life in which Income-tax has not been touched. Otherwise, the salaried class has always been given relief in one form or another.

P.C. PURI, Chandigarh

VI

The Finance Minister has not paid attention to essential commodities like sugar, wheat, pulses etc. Prices of these commodities are rising though these are consumed by the poor. The prices of cars have come down. In what way this proposal will help the poor?

GURUDEV SINGH JAIN, Bartana

VII

The Budget is pro-common man, but with a difference. Making small cars cheaper and soaps and pencils costlier doesn’t make sense. Mr Chidambaram should have given some thought to the senior citizens who are in the evening of their lives.

MOHAN SINGH BAINS,

Jalandhar City

VIII

While multinationals have been given relief, the middle class has been told to survive the debt burden of Rs 70,000 crore plus taxes. The country is saddled with a huge tax liability.

Reduction in deficit is neither due to agriculture nor manufacturing sector. It is on account of 54 per cent growth of service tax which is contributed by the middle class. Prices are rising and the tax burden on people would affect their economic health.

RAJINDER RANA,

Patlander (HP)

 

Jaya in good company

What a fine and informative article by Mr K.N. Bhat — “Jaya Bachchan is in good company” (The Tribune, March 9).

It richly deserved the front page treatment.

FALI S. NARIMAN,

New Delhi

What ails Pakistan?

I refer to the editorial “Karachi blast” (March 4). Admittedly, while trying to harm India by fomenting terrorism, Pakistan has done far more damage to itself than to India. In the 1971 war, it lost East Pakistan. Self-imposed rulers continue to rule Pakistan. It has no democracy and it largely depends on foreign aid. It is still one of the poorest countries.

However, India is a large and powerful  nation. It has all the strength and resources to tackle the situation itself. It need not ask other nations to intervene or mediate in its dispute with Pakistan.

SUBHASH C. CHAUDHRY,

Indianapolis (US)


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