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Reduce VAT on petrol to fight inflation

Inflation has been increasing every week. The problem has been created by various states to some extent by imposing huge tax on petroleum products. The international price of crude oil may have crossed US$ 140 a barrel. It may touch US$ 150-200 a barrel in six months as predicted by Goldman Sachs.

However, many states are not willing to cut sales tax on petrol. For instance, Punjab has levied sales tax on petrol at the rate of 30.68 per cent a litre (27.5 per cent VAT, Rs. 1 cess and Rs 0.13 license fee). On June 5, when the Centre increased the petrol price by Rs 5 a litre, its actual rate in Punjab became Rs. 41.41 a litre. But the sale price of petrol increased to Rs 55.42 a litre after imposition of sales tax @ 30.68 per cent. In fact, Punjab has also levied tax on the increase of Rs 5 a litre on petrol. Hence the actual increase was more than Rs 5 a litre.

The states should come forward to fight inflation by cutting sales tax on petrol to some an extent, and raising their tax revenue from some other sources. Otherwise, higher petroleum prices will lead to rise in the inflation, higher interest rates, costlier loans, weakened rupee, higher taxes and slump in the stock market.



Kaleidoscopic party system

The Indian political party system has become kaleidoscopic in character. This is because of the conversion from the one-party dominance to bi-polar multiparty system, hegemonic to turnover party system and ideological to pragmatic (opportunistic) party system due to the cumulative impact of the processes of modernisation, politicisation and economic development and the logical outcome of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation.

That is why, political parties in the United Front, the NDA and the UPA find it easy to join a coalition or walk out of it. It is difficult to say whether it is a case of political development or an illustration of political decay. This phenomenon has to be comprehended in the above stated dynamic of the Indian party system.

Prof RANBIR SINGH, Consultant, HIRD, Nilokheri

Food crisis

I agree with H.K. Dua’s view in his article, “The daily bread: Failure to tackle food crisis can be unsettling” (June 18) that blame game won’t do.

The world leaders should sit together and find ways to resolve the food and oil crises. True, coming years will be a testing time for the world. Our food and fuel resources are depleting day by day. The situation will thus change.

We will have to take some hard economic measures. We must save our agricultural land from the clutches of land sharks in modern urban centres. We should learn to stop wasting food and oil. Today, we speak of biofuels, but will it be right when millions of people find it hard to get two square meals a day?

Prof PARVEEN RANA, Govt. College, Hoshiarpur

Retirement age

The Punjab government’s plan to raise the age of retirement to 60 years is unjustified. The unemployment problem in the state is acute and the educated youth are suffering because of fewer vacancies.

The country’s future is in the youths’ hands. They are disappointed due to unemployment and are turning to addiction and drugs. Even the employment of retired persons on contract basis in certain departments is adding to the already aggravated problem. The government should drop the proposal of raising the retirement age.

H. S. GHAI, Advocate, Khanna

Pension formula

The most attractive point in the Sixth Pay Commission report is the omission of the clause of qualifying service. All the retirees ought to be treated equally whether one has retired before January 2006 or after.

One formula that could be considered for the fitment of pension is half of the last average emoluments as on January 2006 mentioned in PPO irrespective of his number of half years of qualifying service. Otherwise, the old retirees would be left behind their juniors and the fresh retirees after January 1, 2006.

DARSHAN SINGH, Tutomazara (Hoshiarpur)

Train to Jaipur

The railway authorities should regularise train services from Chandigarh to Jaipur and vice versa. Train Nos. 990 and 989 from Chandigarh to Jaipur and vice versa (Holiday Express) ran thrice a week up to June 3. It would be better if this train starts from Chandigarh between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. to reach Jaipur before 9 a.m.. It will help office goers and students immensely.

ANKITA SETHI, Chandigarh


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