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Telangana state opens Pandora’s box

This refers to the editorialTelangana travails (October 5). Amidst a spate of resignations, agitations, slugfest and diplomacy, it is regretted to find that every action taken, be it against or in favour of the creation of Telangana, is marred by politics. Every political party has moulded itself to move with an eye on the vote bank.

If we have true nationalist feelings in us, we should not be bothered about the creation of another state. There is no harm if the states, which are too big to be effectively governed and managed with regard to various considerations, are partitioned. The new state remains where it was and continues to be an inherent part of our country. The smaller states facilitate effective governance and the benefit of various government schemes reaches more and more people. The sharing of capital should also not be seen as the root cause of strained relations. If our leaders inculcate in them the spirit of being Indian first, such grudges and discontentment will stop brewing within them and the masses led by them. In my opinion, such sharing of capital should strengthen the bonds and feelings of brotherhood. It is only the filth of dirty politics in the minds of our leaders that vitiates and poisons the minds of masses and breeds in them the separatist feelings which when grow to larger proportions become canker.


‘Fair’ price

At present, manufacturers deliberately leave a big gap between the printed Maximum Retail Price (MRP) or the list price and the actual ex-factory price of commodities mainly to be used as bribe for purchase officers in government and private-sector offices.

Mostly, the actual ex-factory price is just one third of the printed price or MRP or the list price. To stop this practice, the Union Government should impose excise duty on the basis of MRP rather than ex-factory price. Even today, such a system is prevailing for some select commodities, which should be compulsorily extended for all commodities in general. These observations are based on information provided by some manufacturers whose products are mainly supplied to various Centre and state government departments.

The government should also make appropriate changes in the Packaged Commodities Act to check the menace of gimmick packaging by manufacturers to cheat consumers. It should be made compulsory to have all packaged commodities only in the packs of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 gms/mls/kgs/ltrs only to avoid gimmick packaging by manufacturers. Goods packed by numbers should likewise be only in the packs of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and similar multiples of 1,000 abolishing packing by dozens etc. India should follow South Africa in extending the RTI Act to the private sector too.


Property tax in Punjab

The property tax levied by the government in Punjab that is confined to residential units is not a property tax but a kind of wealth tax because it is linked to the collector rate of land fixed for each area. The collector rate is subject to revision at any point of time, thus increasing the burden on homeowners in future. Even the income tax laws give exemption to one dwelling unit/house from wealth tax. Here the government is burdening the public with its oppressive and irrational policies.

We can understand being billed for electricity, water, etc because we make use of these utilities. But how does the government explain and justify the imposition of property tax on a non-productive, non-revenue generating property? The government is in dire straits and it is being misled and misguided by its advisers to garner resources.

Any tax that the government wishes to impose should be designed in a manner that the people are comfortable and willing to pay for the smooth functioning of the government machinery. Otherwise, it reflects the dictatorial and monopolistic mindset of the government. The Punjab government should give a second thought on this decision and rework the property tax formula in order to make it rational.

BHARAT, Ludhiana



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