Functioning of EVMs

Apropos ‘A vote for EVMs’ (April 30), the Supreme Court has rightly reaffirmed its faith in the working of EVMs and refused the return of ballot papers. The apex court seems to be satisfied with the safeguards and stringent checks which have been an integral part of EVM functioning. It is also a welcome move by the court to give the number 2 and 3 placed candidates the option to check and verify 5 per cent of microchips per Assembly segment, so that they remain fully satisfied. Now, hopefully, the EVM issue should be closed for good and the Opposition must create a narrative which resonates with the voters.

Bal Govind


Taxing inheritance

This is with reference to ‘Inheritance tax won’t rake in much for govt’ (April 30). While a debate is raging in political circles over the desirability of “inheritance tax” as a tool for wealth “redistribution,” tax experts say such an impost — abolished in India way back in 1985 due to “costs outweighing benefits” — would discourage “savings and investments.” Some suggest that rather than introduce an inheritance tax, increasing surcharges on high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) could be an alternative approach for India to raise revenue from wealthy sections. This option directly taxes high income during one’s lifetime, avoiding the complexities of valuing and taxing inherited assets.

P Sundara Pandian

Virudhunagar, TN

Agriculture income tax

The suggestion by the chairman of Indian Overseas Congress to introduce inheritance tax is impractical. Instead, to improve the tax buoyancy, new methods of tax revenue generation such as imposition of tax on agricultural income beyond certain limit can be planned. This would help garner large amounts of revenues.

Sitaram Popuri


Student protests in US

Apropos the article ‘Biden’s Gaza dilemma’ (April 30), the ongoing campus protests may not have much of an impact on the US elections, given the fact that the policy stance on the Gaza war of both the Democrats and Republicans are not vastly different. However, the student protests are an indication of a small change in the perceptions of Americans on the Palestinian issue. Surveys conducted in recent times find that the people, in general, do not consider the Middle East war a major issue; definitely not among the top ten issues. A Pew survey in March reveals that just about 14 per cent of the Americans under 50 years of age have shown some interest. The top issues exercising the minds of Americans are inflation, healthcare, housing, gun violence, etc. The issue of protests at US campuses would bother the Biden administration only temporarily and is unlikely to have any impact on the Biden re-election campaign.

Kosaraju Chandramouli