Letters

Letters to the editor dated June 10, 2021

| Updated on June 10, 2021

States’ GST conundrum

With reference to ‘GST Council to meet on June 12 to discuss tax rate on Covid relief materials’ (June 10), notwithstanding the fact that this meeting is scheduled to ‘discuss’ the ‘worthy recommendations’ of the Group of Ministers (GoM), it would be futile to hope against hope and expect any relief from the revenue savvy GST Council, led by the Union Finance Minister. In fact, the proposed meet may formally approve the ‘ideal tax rates suggested by the said GoM’. The past bitter experiences speak volumes about the States invariably ‘craving’ for more revenues and they would not let this God sent opportunity go. However, it is genuinely felt that the revisited Covid vaccination programme, beginning from June 21, should be fully exempted from the GST. But, let us wait and watch, as all our wishes are seldom granted.

Vinayak G

Bengaluru

Miles to go

With reference to the article “Just cracking the exam isn’t enough” (June 10), created by a long history of industry-stifling measures from the licence-permit-raj ear an enormous number of hurdles came in the way of ease of doing business in India. The result is that though the present government took many steps to improve the situation (as reflected in its global ranking of 63 in 2020 from 142 in 2015), much more needs to be done in this direction.

It may be noted the reform measures were delayed by resistance from vested interests like trade unions and opposition parties. Besides, the progress has been halted by a series of lockdowns affecting some industries adversely — scope of working from home is limited in manufacturing thus curtailing production activity.

YG Chouksey

Pune

Apropos ‘Post- pandemic planning’ (June 10), indeed India was facing structural slowdown even before the pandemic caused by note ban, GST and slow pace of structural reforms. Adding to existing economic woes, now the pandemic has frozen even that limping growth, thanks to the crash in consumption and loss of millions of jobs. The loss of lives and the deprived health status of Covid-19 recovered patients reduce the quality of labour and fractured the backbone of growth. At this juncture, the way forward is proactive planning and timely action to retrieve the lost growth with a well structured health care system even in the midst of facing systemic risks like climate change, pandemic, natural disasters, water shortage and geo political issues.

NR Nagarajan

Sivakasi

Congress blow

This refers to the news report, ‘In a blow to Cong ahead of UP polls, Jitin Prasada joins BJP’, (June 10). The high-profile defections from the Congress to the BJP since 2014 is relentlessly growing. Former union minister Jitin Prasada from UP is the latest entrant to the list . Those who belong to Rahul Gandhi’s generation linked their political fortunes to his rise. But they now stare at an uncertain future. The party’s leadership structure is unclear and internal conflict resolution mechanisms are weak. There are serious doubts over the electoral appeal and leadership capabilities of Rahul Gandhi. The prospect of Congress returning to power at the Centre is bleak, BJP remains the favourite for 2024 despite lapses in Covid-19 management. In UP, the best-case scenario for the Congress is reaching a respectable fourth.

BJP provides the pull factor for these restless leaders. Conscious that these new entrants reinforce the optics of a strong BJP and a weak Congress, the party is more than open to outsiders.

Prasada’s induction is a signal to Brahmins in UP that the party is sensitive to their aspirations. With the BJP is defensive about its governance, the entry also helps shift the narrative back to its political appeal.

N Sadhasiva Reddy

Bengaluru

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Published on June 10, 2021

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