Letters to the editor dated Jan 27, 2020

| Updated on January 27, 2020 Published on January 27, 2020

Tax reforms

Apropos ‘Tax reforms can help revive the economy’(January 27), the introduction of GST was no doubt needed. Yet, the fiasco in its implementation with high rates, complex compliance, evasion, and conundrums in invoice matching all worked against it, discouraging taxpayers with reduced ease of doing business. The high tax rate in the auto and realty sectors has been coupled with additional levies. Another major lapse is the underestimating of the value of imports leading to leakage of GST revenue. Regarding agriculture, big farmers are still out of the tax net. Reducing the direct tax rate will not only help taxpayers but also bring more people into the tax net.

NR Nagarajan


AGR woes

This refers to ‘DoT’s AGR overreach’ (January 27). The quest for AGR dues has seemingly turned into a wild goose chase for the DoT. The Supreme Court verdict spells the death knell not only for telecom but also non-telecom players. If the court musters up courage to provide a breather to PSUs by waiving off their apparent dues, private sector companies are bound to cry foul. Now, all eyes are on the government, which ought to save these beleaguered companies which are on the edge of the precipice.

Deepak Singhal


Budget expectations

This refers to the reports ‘All eyes on the Budget’ and ‘Great expectations’ (January 27), which give the likely response of the public on the forthcoming Budget presentation. Since the slide in the economy is quite perceptible, it would be difficult for the Finance Minister to handle the requirements called for by the economy and the expectations of the people. In the present situation, it is important that the production and commercial sectors are given a boost. Both of these depend on a high level of consumption. Capacity for household expenditure must also be raised, and therefore the tax level also needs an examination.

TR Anandan


Missed collections

As per media reports, tax collection (both direct and indirect taxes) may fall short by ₹2,00,000 crore this fiscal owing to the sluggish economy. Significantly, while the likely shortfall in respect of personal and corporate taxes may be as high as ₹1,50,000 crore, the GST collection could also fall short by a staggering ₹50,000 crore. Not a good omen, for sure. With regard to the direct taxes missing the targets, the Finance Minister seems to have not done her homework before so ‘proudly’ ushering in the recent corporate tax cuts last year to boost the nation’s slackening growth. But sadly, the buck does not stop here alone, as the much publicised ‘revisiting’ of the personal income tax regime, based on the recommendations of a direct taxes committee report, may also result in more problems, and the blame may conveniently be put on the depleted tax collection vis-a-vis the budgeted targets. But who is truly responsible for such a poor show? Why not fix realistic targets while preparing the Union Budget?

It is highly likely that the RBI will once again be pressured into ‘emptying’ a lion’s share of its most prudently preserved ‘reserves’ to fill the coffers of the government.

Kumar Gupt

Panchkula, Haryana

Civic issues

As the capital region enjoys the increased political attentionthe importance of a congenial environment and productive lifestyle in the State should not be undermined. Over the past few years, the NCR has been largely bestowed with smog-ridden grey-skies and non-potable water, every winter. The apparent concern towards public welfare exhibited during the campaigns, ought to earnestly continue in the longer run. Delhi hasn’t benefited by the cavalier attitude of entities where low-accountability and mud-slinging have been established as the new norm. The leaders must remain cognisant of the challenges and execute a large-scale, collaborative and result-oriented attempt to act against offenders responsible for aggravating the problems. There is a rising need to sensitise stakeholders about people’s fundamental right to get clean air and safe drinking water..

Girish Lalwani


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Published on January 27, 2020
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