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Don’t let foreign investment go waste

The government’s recent decision of deferring GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules) till 2016 would give an added growth stimulus to the Indian economy. In order to generate additional revenue, the government is going all out to woo foreign investors after their initial disenchantment over the regressive tax policies like GAAR.

However, despite this welcome step, there are certain other important issues that need to be tackled. One of these pertains to units operating in Special Economic Zones. SEZs were leading India’s charge in attracting foreign investments and led to establishment of more and more manufacturing and export-oriented units in India. This augured well for the Indian economy. Ever since the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) was introduced in the 2011 budget and applied to units operating in SEZs, it has stifled SEZ’s growth. With MAT effectively taking away all the earlier promised tax benefits, the investors don’t find SEZs to be a viable investment destination any more.

Moreover, existing investors too are feeling the heat and are either downscaling investment plans or retracting from SEZs. This does not bode well for the economy. The government shouldn’t let such an important investment attracting tool go waste. MAT on SEZs needs to be reconsidered and possibly rolled back in order to revive SEZs which would further give a boost to foreign investment generating capacity of India and win back investor confidence.

SONAKSHI, Jamshedpur


It is rightly stated in the editorial, Foreign direct interest (January 12) that the NRIs are the unfailing source of cash flow but their money is being ploughed into unproductive real estate. This is because the NRIs have no other avenue for safe investment. If allowed to participate in the saving schemes, their money can swell up our coffers which can be used for nation building instead of lying dead in real estate.

Wg Cdr CL SEHGAL(retd), Jalandhar

Strong message

The CBI court’s verdict convicting the Chautalas in the teachers’ recruitment scam will have a far-reaching effect on the politico-bureaucratic nexus across the nation. It will certainly act as a deterrent.

The verdict has come at a time when the country is witnessing an undercurrent against corruption and it should be treated as a benchmark to prevent such blatant misuse of power in future.  

There are a large number of mega scams under investigation in which several political leaders in various states as well as in the Centre are facing corruption charges. The CBI needs to act very expeditiously to bring the culprits to book and make political leaders and bureaucrats accountable for their misdeeds. The Haryana government should act to give relief to those JBT teachers whose merit was earlier ignored because of the teacher’s recruitment scam.

SK KHOSLA, Chandigarh


All those candidates who were appointed "teachers" on false grounds or by paying bribes to the Chautalas must also be punished. Their services should be terminated and they should be asked to pay back atleast 50 per cent of the money they had received in the form of salaries and allowances to the government. The editorial Chautala hits a wall (January 17) rightly says that this case will send out a strong message to government servants.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh 

Public-police distrust

The police force should be told to treat ordinary citizens with respect, and moreover, if the person asking for help is a woman, they should be more supportive. The reality is that, whether a man or a woman, people prefer to suffer than to call the police for help.  This mistrust is the basic reason behind the ever-increasing communication gap between the police and the public. Another problem plaguing the Police Department is that thousands of policemen have been deployed to guard our politicians who are partly responsible for the worsening law and order situation.


Justified fare hike

The recent increase in rail fare is justified. The expenditure on railways has increased 3 times in the last 10 years. Thousands of unmanned railway crossing have been manned now. Pay and allowances of employees have doubled. Rates of diesel and lubricants have increased 3 fold and prices of other infrastructural requirements like bricks, cement etc have increased more than four times. The public must realise the necessity of increase in rail fare.


Encourage public sector 

Public sector undertakings in India like BHEL, NTPC, IOC, ONGC, PGCIL, etc, have demonstrated a track record of professional management, innovation, competence and good results. While the managements of PSUs, especially successful ones, need to be given a pat on the back, the government also needs to be complimented for its support. Following globalisation and an open economy since 1990, PSUs have been facing challenges not just nationally but globally as well.

The world over, governments have been supporting their PSUs, being an integral part of the government, to continue to not only sustain but excel. There is an urgent need for the Government of India also to do everything to ensure sustained growth and progress of PSUs. One disturbing factor is that so far BHEL and others have lost over Rs 65,000 crore worth of orders to Chinese companies. Reasons for this are compounded and need to be looked into specifically and solutions found.

Prof CK SARDANA, Bhopal



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