Letters to the editor dated Sept 28, 2020

| Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 29, 2020

Vodafone and after

This refers to the editorial ‘Bury the ‘retro’ ghost’ (September 28). It is easier said than done to expect the government not to appeal against the Vodafone judgement. However, the issue ought not to be viewed through a legal prism but we must also consider moral and prudential reasons. India is not China, which overtly flouts international treaties and rulings. Furthermore, an appeal may have the same fate and India may have to eat humble pie eventually.

Deepak Singhal


Any retrospective amendment of law is violative of the principles of justice, as it deprives the former of ‘predictability’, which is a sine qua non for law abidance. In the Vodafone case, to circumvent the Supreme Court verdict of 2012, that the group did not have to pay taxes for its purchase of 67 per cent stake in Hutchison Whampoa, the then government passed an amendment to the Finance Act, empowering the Income Tax Department to retrospectively tax such deals. Against the demand of ₹22,100 crore made by the IT department, the Vodafone Group approached the Permanent Court of Arbitration, at the Hague, in 2014, which has now ruled in the group’s favour. The present government should gracefully accept the verdict, sending positive signals to prospective investors as to the certainty of law in India, while retaining the original amendment to the Finance Act, more as a deterrence against exploitation of loopholes, in its taxation laws.

V Jayaraman


Health wealth

This refers to ‘A great digital leap forward in healthcare’ (September 28). Of course the National Digital Health Mission, at this juncture of pandemic with dearth for regular medical service other than the virus treatment, creates a virtual medical platform with change in products and delivery model. But such reformical transmission in health care sector cannot reach all kinds of beneficiaries and the market is confined to literates with financial ability. The digital mode of rendering medical services and practices serves as a good alternative at this juncture of pandemic and can be stabilised even after resuming normal medical service in the post pandemic period

NR Nagarajan


Reality bytes

This refers to the editorial ‘Mind the digital gap’ (September 26). Although digitalisation is advancing in all walks of life, a majority of the people, more particularly those residing in the rural and hinterland, are helpless when it comes to take advantage of technology due to poor literacy, poverty and the prevailing deficient communication network and power supply.

The inadequacy of standard educational institutions and the indifferent attitude of the villagers towards educating their wards are not only keeping the children uneducated but creating roadblocks too in the path of economic growth and social development.

The economically and socially backward people are forced to send the children for earning the livelihood rather than for education. Eradication of poverty is paramount to have the participation of the whole community.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry, Kerala

More than a singer

The death of SP Balasubrahmanyam is a great loss not only for music lovers and his fans but for the entire entertainment industry. His contribution should not be measured in pure entertainment value as he helped in national integration by singing in so many languages. His songs became a reference bank for learners, television programmes besides stage shows and created employment for many singers, instrument players and other support staff, becoming a hub for economic activity.

M Raghuraman


Hitting the poor the hardest

This is with reference to the news report ‘Tomato, onion, potato push up food, overall inflation’ (September 28). Inflation hurts the poor, lower middle class and middle class people the most and they form the majority of this populous nation. Hence inflation should be fought on a large scale.

Veena Shenoy


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Published on September 29, 2020
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