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FM must tax rich farmers

NIRMAL SANDHU’s article, “Taxing exercise” (Feb 9) was timely. Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should take note of the points raised in the article, especially the one regarding taxing the rich farmer.

Yes, why should there be a blanket exemption for the agricultural income? And why a preferential treatment to the farmers? Is others’ contribution of lesser importance?

If farmers provide food, how about the providers of clothing, footwear, soap, medicines and so on which are equally essential for sustaining life? And how about doctors who give life or security personnel who protect the nation at the risk of their own life, or teachers who are the builders of our future
generation?

Tax exemption to the small farmers holding land up to, say, eight acres is understandable, but sparing even the rich farmer is not.

Wg-Cdr C.L. SEHGAL (retd), Jalandhar

II

I have two points to make on Mr Sandhu’s article. Why are salaried woman employees given the extended tax-free income slab as against their male counterparts? It sounds okay in case the lady concerned is the only bread-earner of a family. But as we know, in most cases, both wife and husband are working or income-tax assesses.

In such cases, I would rather suggest clubbing the incomes of both the spouses together for assessment purpose as both of them do the same work of bringing up the family as in the case of a single-earner of a family. I, however, doubt whether the government would care to respond to this suggestion as most spouses of the politicians, bureaucrats, business tycoons would be affected.

The same is true of the idea of taxing the rich and mighty landlords. But people like me are highly optimistic as the country can hardly have a combination of an economist Prime Minister and a well deserved Finance Minister. I do hope better wisdom will prevail on the fortune of this great country during the able tenure of this wonderful duo.

SATENDER SINGH YADAV, Kurukshetra


 

What ails govt schools

SS. GILL’s article, “Financing of education” (Feb 5), makes interesting reading. He says that the reason for the poor showing of government schools is the withdrawal of children by the rich from these schools. This has resulted in government apathy towards these schools, he says.

The writer has recommended heavy financial doses to educational institutions for better performance and for making them attractive even to the rich. But globalisation is the worldwide phenomenon today. Both economic growth rate and human resource development are scaling new heights.

In this age of gut-reaction, easy going tolerance has no place. And that speaks volumes about the public sector’s poor track record. Unproductive financial doses are moth-eaten concepts and seem unable to bring the education system back on the track. People are wise enough to know that a tree is known by its fruits.

R.M. RAMAUL, Paonta Sahib

Anomaly in CRPF

The Fifth Central Pay Commission has recommended the pay scale of 5000-10500 for the posts of head clerk and female staff nurse. However, in the CRPF, while the combatised post of head clerk has been assigned the rank of inspector with the pay scale Rs 6500-10500, the combatised post of female staff nurse has been given the Sub-Inspector’s rank with the pay scale Rs 5500-9900.

I would request the Union Home Minister to look into matter and rectify the anomaly. How can there be a difference in the pay structure when the Fifth Pay Commission has recommended the same pay scales for both posts? Moreover, both posts have been combatised for the very same purpose — to bring them under the CRPF Act and rules.

D. SAKIA, Jammu

Welcome legislation

The passage of the Shariat Bill in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly is a great solace to Muslim women entitling maintenance allowance to women. But the Shariat law applicable to Muslims in India still requires radical changes as women continue to be unequally compared to their male counterparts.

Male chauvinism and hegemony have no place in the 21st century. Women should get social and financial security. Equal participation and involvement of women in the growth of house, society and country is paramount, irrespective of one’s caste, creed and religion.

B. KAPOOR, Jalandhar

Bad roads

The roads in Hamirpur are poor and shabby. In the last three years, there has been constant digging of these roads for laying water pipes, cables, sewerage and so on. This has resulted in traffic jams and air pollution.

The administration is mainly responsible for the slow pace of work. Workers work under miserable condition, mostly during nights when the traffic is less but without any lamps or lights. There are also no signboards or indicators suggesting that the work is in progress. The authorities should take steps to ensure the safety and convenience of Hamirpur’s residents.

ANJALI SHARMA,Hamirpur
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