SPECIAL COVERAGE
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LUDHIANA

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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Huge tax burden in Punjab

The Punjab government is contemplating new taxes to fill its coffers supposedly emptied by the previous government. The already smothered common man cannot bear any more tax burden, especially with prevailing unemployment and meager earnings.

Today, we have service tax to the tune of 12.36 per cent, Central tax 3 per cent, VAT 4 and 12.5 per cent, income tax 10-30 per cent, road tax 2 per cent of the vehicle value, toll tax, commercial property tax 15 per cent of the fair rental value of the year, capital gain tax 10 to 20 per cent, stamp duty on purchases of immovable property 8 and 9 per cent, VAT on petrol 27.5 per cent and on diesel 8.8 per cent, banking transaction tax point 10 per cent.

We are also forced to pay ATM use tax, excise duty, customs duty, education cess, surcharge on income-tax and, above all, chai-pani tax. We are also forced to give bribes to officials in case of a visit to a government office. This is too much of a load, especially on the middle class.


 

If Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram still feels it appropriate to go ahead with new direct or indirect taxes, the masses are bound to rise against the government.

Col KULDIP SINGH GREWAL (retd), Patiala

Sound scheme

I read the news-item, “Pensioners can retain GPF in Govt account”. The Central Service Rule 1960 is being amended to allow the Center/State retiring employees to retain their GPF in government fund for unlimited period.

In fact, a similar facility called the DSRE (Deposit-Scheme for Retiring Employees) 1989 was started to allow the employees of the states and the Centre including Defence Services to deposit their provident fund and other retiring benefits in the DSRE account at SBI with 9 per cent tax free interest payable half yearly. Unfortunately, DSRE-1989 was abolished in Sept 2004.

It is a good welfare scheme to allow retiring employees to retain their GPF. The government should also allow those who retired earlier to transfer their GPF/DSOPF to their old accounts, especially those who had opened their DSRE accounts in SBI with their GPF in 1990 onwards, if they so desired.

Dr B.R. PARUTHI, Chandigarh

Pension commutation

The then Congress government in Punjab has partially corrected the earlier wrong decision and restored the pension commutation formula for its pensioners/ employees only from October, 2006 which was scrapped during Sept 2003. This is causing great injustice to pensioners who retired between September 2003 and October 30, 2006.

The affected pensioners deserve a fair deal from the Akali-BJP government. It should stop the step-motherly treatment to those retired between Sept 2003 and Oct 30, 2006. The Punjab Finance Minister should consider the demand favourably.

MOHINDER PALL MODGIL,Hoshiarpur

Blame society, not law

While addressing a national seminar on “Family Law: Problem and Prospects” organised by Rajiv Gandhi Law University at Patiala, Justice Ashok Bhan, Supreme Court Judge, has rightly underlined the need to change the people’s mindset against social evils leading to family disputes because legislation alone won’t change society.

Despite laws to check dowry deaths, domestic violence and female foeticide, brides either commit suicide or are burnt. The mothers have to approach the doctors for gender test and then to abort the female child. Thus, it is society and not the doctor which is responsible for female foeticide.

Dr Harshinder Kaur report that female infanticide has increased after the government took steps to check foeticide proves that society has not changed and a lot needs to be done to give justice to women.

T.L. SHARMA,Nangal Township (Ropar)

Probe college affairs

The suspension of the Principal, Amritsar Medical College, is unfair. The Minister of Research and Medical Education should probe the college affairs properly. In the past few months, persons with tainted reputation have been made heads of various departments.

In the prevailing circumstances, doctors are afraid of working in the college. Their morale is at its lowest ebb. Stealing of kidneys has become a fashion and a joke for some unscrupulous elements to harass doctors and extract money. In any case, the child’s kidney that was removed recently was cancerous.

Dr RANBIR SINGH PANNU, Amritsar

Expedite rail link

In September, 2004, the Chamkaur Sahib Development Forum had for the first time proposed the rail link from Doraha to Ropar via religious towns Machhiwara and Chamkaur Sahib, all along the Sirhind Canal on the state government land where there is no river on the way (News-item, “Amritsar to Anandpur Sahib rail link proposed”, Aug 27). Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar, have all recommended this route to Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.

In February 2006, a politician stole our thunder and had his way in getting the approval of the survey for the Amritsar-Anandpur Sahib rail link through his constituency Jejjon-Garhshanker.

While the Jejjon-Garhshanker route requires acquisition of land and a bridge on the river Sutlej, the route from Doraha to Ropar does not require it.

RAJINDER SINGH DELHI,  Chamkaur Sahib (Ropar)

Motivate students

As a university teacher for the last 25 years, I do realise that it is very difficult to meet the UGC requirement of 180 teaching days; some students even  fail  to meet the requirement of 75 per cent attendance in lectures (“A target hard to achieve”, Oct 2).

The students need to be motivated through incentives in the form of grace marks such as 5 or 7 per cent more marks if the attendance is more than 90 per cent and 3 or 5 per cent grace marks to those with more than 80 per cent attendance. Similarly, why not deduct marks if the attendance is below certain limit? Such a procedure will encourage the students to be careful about attendance.

Prof GURSHARAN SINGH,PAU, Ludhiana

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