Budget: a half-hearted attempt

Only a mouth-freshener” (Editorial, March 1) is an apt comment on  P.Chidambram’s budget proposals. The budget lacks vision and is status-quoist. A defensive mindset has come in the way of a progressive fiscal approach so vital for the development of all sections  of society.

The only silver lining is the renewed thrust on education, health services and the farm sector so essential for our generation to survive. But the corporate sector needed more measures for promoting an SEZ culture, disinvestment, foreign direct investment and industrial growth.

Income tax proposals are a disappointment. The income tax segment in India is a much lesser source of revenue generation as compared to the situation in developed countries. Personal tax proceeds mostly depend on the salaried class. Rich agriculturists, orchard-owners and other such people remain to be taxed.

Practicing lawyers, doctors, tutors, traders, etc, don’t pay income tax courtesy the income tax department and inadequate regulations. Reducing the minimum age of 60 years for being treated as a senior citizen was essential and so was the increase in savings components.

Honest taxpayers got no relief. The Finance Minister has not launched any scheme to unearth black money now being mostly used to acquire real estate, resulting in the sky-rocketing of its prices.

B. Kapoor, Dy. Chief Engineer, Jalandhar City


An eye-opener

The verdict of the people of Punjab should serve as an eye-opener for the Union Government. The reason is that the election results against the Congress in Uttarakhand and Punjab are a clear indication that the party’s victory in the Uttar Pradesh assembly and Delhi Municipal Corporation elections is doubtful. But what can be the circumstances at the time of polling is not easy to predict.

Simmi Mohindru, Chandigarh

Breaking the myth

Railway Minister Lalu Prasad deserves praise for thinking differently. His Railway Budget is the best for breaking the myth that revenue can be increased only by burdening the common man.

The Union Budget presented by Chidambaram, too, appears to be a balanced one. He has been able to feel the pulse of the common man. Defence, agriculture, education and health care are his priorities.

For senior citizens like me the proposal of reverse mortgage is a blessing.  But the big question is: how will this budget check the runaway inflation? 

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad


Infections in hospitals

Tribune correspondent Bipin Bhardwaj did an interesting report on hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) recently. There is no doubt that such infections and medical errors worldwide cause some morbidity and mortality. This has been reported even in the hospitals in the US and the UK.

It is reported that 40 per cent of the HAI cases can be prevented by frequent washing of the hands and by minimising visitors to the indoor area, besides developing an attitude of care among the staff. The figure of 25 per cent HAI cases (as given in the news-item) in India is scary not only for foreign medical tourists but also for our own kith and kin, who may require admission to a hospital. The fear of acquiring such infections may affect the morale of OPD patients as well.

In India, where the tendency to blame hospitals rather than the disease or the lack of compliance of doctors’ advice for any adverse outcome is already high, such revelations may result in more disputes. The figure looks unrealistic. Our premier hospitals do not have such a high incidence; in fact, they compare well with the best in the West.

Dr R. Kumar, Eye Specialist, Chandigarh

Protect Palampur

Ravinder Sood article Green cover of Palampur (Feb 5) was timely. Palampur is a popular hill station endowed with lush green forests which is bound by deodar trees. This adds to the beauty of town which attracts a large number of tourists.

Environmentalist M.C. Mehta says, “Environment today is a question of survival…our rivers are dying, cities are chocking, underground water tables are depleting, and the air is not fit for breathing…only a strong people’s movement can bring a change in our present situation.” Unless we have a green vote bank, political parties’ attitude towards environment will not change.




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