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Tackle price rise on priority

Rising prices cause worry. The political and bureaucratic circles are concerned about skyrocketing prices because of their likely repercussions on the election results. In the last four years, the UPA government at the Centre did not show any concern for price rise; the Finance Ministry was obsessed with revenue collection and reducing the fiscal deficit.

The Finance Minister and the RBI have taken steps by reducing the excise duty and import tax on some items, but there is no downward movement of the prices. Economists and the gullible government believed in globalisation and liberalisation as mantras of economic development. But they did not worry or evaluate their adverse effect on unequally developed economies of various countries. Globalisation and liberalisation could work only between two equally developed economies, not otherwise.

The price rise is not due to increase in the international oil prices but wrong application of globalisation and liberalisation introduced by the developed economies in their own interest at the cost of non-developed struggling economies. For our own survival, we should make necessary course corrections and check price rise on priority.

Air Marshal P.K. JAIN (retd), Chandigarh


Revive municipal magistrates

Municipal administration everywhere is in a mess. Encroachments, unauthorised construction activity, haphazard parking of vehicles can be seen in cities, big or small. There is no fear of the local authorities. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

In the fifties and sixties, there used to be municipal magistrates for dealing with cases under the Municipal Act. As a result, there was some fear of municipal administration in the minds of the people. Now neither the municipal staff bothers to take action nor the courts have time to dispose of such cases speedily.

In public interest, the institution of municipal magistrate should be revived. He may have a skeletal police force, support staff, a jeep and a van. He should have summary powers to hold mobile court and dispose of petty cases on the spot. This won’t entail a heavy financial burden on the government. The expenditure on this set up will be more than recovered through fines to ensure a cleaner life for the people.

V. S. CHAUDHARI, IAS (retd), Karnal


Corruption, wasteful expenditure and higher taxes are the main causes of rising prices. On corruption and wasteful expenditure, rarely has there been any effort to check these. When value added tax (VAT) replaced sales tax, many items, where sales tax was levied @ 8 per cent, were brought under the 12 per cent slab. Perhaps, the state was ignorant of who will bear this additional 4 per cent rise in taxes.

In Punjab, Central funds are diverted to other heads and the contracts to build the roads are being given to private contractors to recover the cost by collecting toll tax from the common man.

Similarly, service tax is being imposed on every item irrespective whether it has any service component. The latest addition is renting of commercial building. The state has raised service tax from 5 to 12.36 per cent little realising that it will fuel inflation.

Perhaps, the state has never thought that the service tax will burden the consumer in the shape of price rise. Higher rate of taxation leads to price rise and the state will have to act decisively in this regard.

OM DATT SHARMA, Chandigarh

Tax sops at bay

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaran has done a good job of sticking to his earlier tax policy by acting on the recommendations of the Shome and Kelkar committees seriously through gradual introduction of a suitable regime in the matter of tax laws while presenting selective amendments to the Finance Bill, 2008.

A harder stance on various income-tax exemptions has resulted in better tax revenues and improvement in the tax-GDP ratio from 9.2 per cent in 2003 to 12.5 per cent at the end of 2007-08.

The Finance Minister who will present the next Budget will hopefully keep the extra increase in tax revenues due to removing unnecessary exemptions and ultimately reduce the maximum income-tax rate still lower so that without any surcharge or cess it is brought down to 25 per cent.

R. N. LAKHOTIA, New Delhi

Ignominious exit

The editorial, “Marching orders: KPS Gill richly deserved the boot” (April 30) aptly observed that Gill has diminished his stature by this resistance. As DGP, he has done great service to the nation in wiping out terrorism from Punjab. He has also done great disservice to hockey.

During his 14-year tenure, hockey plunged to an abysmal depth. It is tragic that under Gill, India failed to qualify for this year’s Beijing Olympics since we began playing in the 1928 games.

The concluding words of the editorial need reiteration: “Now that hockey has reached its nadir, it should be managed by men who are truly in love with the game, not retired bureaucrats who grab all positions only for the sake of prestige and influence”.

D.V. JOSHI, Baltana (Zirakpur)

PTU certificates

The B.Tech degree certificates issued by the Punjab Technical University (PTU) for pass-outs of May 2007 do not mention marks secured by a candidate in each of semester examinations or even his/her aggregate marks obtained. We all know that the score of an individual does matter in competitions and is a sine qua non in job applications.

The PTU must device ways to rectify its lapses for examinations of 2007 and make amends in degree certificates to be issued for future examinations.




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