Taxing efforts

| Updated on January 07, 2019 Published on January 07, 2019


With reference to ‘CBDT directs taxman to maximise collection efforts as growth rate not satisfactory’ (January 7). It was interesting to learn that the CBDT Chairman has directed the I-T Department officials to “maximise” their efforts and go after wilful tax defaulters . He also came out with a strategic ‘wish-list’ enumerating a host of measures for achieving the govt’s budgeted targets.

While one genuinely wishes him all the success in his efforts to fill up govt coffers, these moves usually end up hitting the common man and the nation's business community.

The CBDT should have also thought about bringing our 'political' community under its 'investigative' lens, which understandably enjoys very high propensity to somehow 'evade and avoid' the payment of income tax.

Is the CBDT listening please?

Vinayak G


Cheaper medicines

With reference to ‘Making medicines cheaper’ (January 5), price control is only one aspect of ushering in customer affordability. The R&D costs in the drug industry are immense. Strangely,whereas technology has helped cut costs in other sectoral sciences, the cost of pharmaceutical research has stayed the same and in many cases gone up.

The period of price protection of patented drugs has always been designed to provide enough incentives for innovation of newer drugs.

High income nations are less sensitive to prices but more to therapeutical significance and efficacy. The less developed nations rely more on price control and they wait patiently for the new drug with even a big time lag. The era of diseases prodding invention of drugs is fading. Hence regulators need to be highly discerning in containing price of a group of basic drugs that would give us optimum return in terms of health.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Rare disease policy

With reference to ‘Callous policy U-turn’, the government’s move reflects very poorly on it. It is not surprising to see many a policy, launched with much fanfare, failing at the implementation level. The government confirmed to the court that they have kept aside ₹100 crore for the rare disease policy this but in reality there was nothing.

So it misled both the court as well patients for whom it was meant for. While government will be re-framing this policy it must not leave those suffering in the lurch anymore.

Bal Govind


‘Caught on the wrong foot’

The Standing Committee on Finance, headed by senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily, is understood to have asked the RBI to address the problem of perpetually dysfunctional ATMs apart from asking the banks to install adequate number of ATMs..

Statistically speaking, as per the RBI data, there were 2,21,492 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the country as at September-end 2018 which include 1,43,844 ATMs of public sector banks, 59,645 ATMs of private banks and 18,003 of foreign banks, payments banks, small fiance banks and White Label ATMs (WLAs), which are owned and operated by the non-bank entities.

However, the panel does not consider this number as truly ‘adequate’. However, it may be pertinent to point out that various banks are also reportedly considering the ‘closure’ of a large number of their ATMs owing to their ‘viability’ concerns in the wake of the RBI’s recent guidelines. But will such a move not ‘add more fuel to the fire’ and further aggravate the cash crunch situation being experienced mainly in rural and semi-urban areas across the country?

The government’s latest move to merge Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda is also likely to end up closing down of many of their existing ATMs on some operational and/or administrative grounds.

So such a scenario could represent a ‘double whammy’ for the general masses throughout the country.

Kumar Gupt


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Published on January 07, 2019
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