Letters

Letters to the editor dated February 4, 2021

| Updated on February 04, 2021

Scrappage policy

With reference to the news item ‘Scrappage policy to drive growth of used cars in the medium term (Feburary 4)’, as a part of scrappage policy introduced in the Budget envisages levying of Green Tax ranging between 10 per cent and 25 per cent for commercial vehicles over eight years old for and over 15 years personal vehicles.

Given the prohibitive cost of the new vehicle, both individuals or commercial owners would prefer to pay the Green Tax, which would defeat its very purpose. Instead, the policy should envisage mandatory scrapping of vehicle once it completes the prescribed number of years. Individual vehicle owners who switch over from petrol or diesel cars to electric cars or two wheelers must adequately be compensated by way of free insurance, by registering the details in the Registration Certificate (RC) of the new vehicles. Commercial vehicle owners too must be given exemption from paying GST or road tax while replacing their old vehicles with new ones.

RV Baskaran

Chennai

Shining health organisation

With reference to the article ‘How ICMR led India’s battle against Covid’ (February 4), the ICMR chief has described factually the organisation’s contribution to test, track, trace, treat and use technology to rein in the menace of Covid-19 culminating in the invention of an indigenous vaccine Covaxin.

In fact, all health organisations in the country formed a strong chain with the Health Ministry headed by Harsh Vardhan. He relentlessly planned, co-ordinated and monitored the process to combat Covid-19 and has been the most visible face of the government on media playing also an advisory role for the citizens. While we applaud the immense work of corona warriors, we should not forget the continuous efforts of our scientists and health department staff working behind the scene.

YG Chouksey

Pune

Rationalising PF

This refers to the news report ‘Budget move to tax PF contributions of over 2.5 lakh/year raises retrospectivety questions’. The amount in an individual PF a/c on March 31, 2021 ought to be frozen. From now onwards current contribution along with the interest on past amounts frozen should logically be considered as income in the new fiscal year. Suppose the interest earned on previous deposits is not taxable this shall not only lead to complex computations but also defeat the objective of the bold measure for rationalisation of the PF and bringing it at par with other savings instruments. One segment does not deserve preferential treatment. It is a blessing in disguise as post superannuation such employees shall be conditioned to swallow the bitter pill of low interests on savings.

Deepak Singhal

Noida

 

Implementation, a challenge

With reference to ‘Spending to get back growth impulses’ (February4), annual budgetary exercises are termed as ‘Success” based on outlays allocated to different segments of economy. The funds set aside for infrastructure looks impressive aimed at economic revival and employment generation in the long run. Looking at sources, monetisation of assets maintained by NIP (National Infrastructure Pipeline) has been given a big thrust by bringing more projects into its fold. Disinvestment and monetisation of assets managed by public sector enterprises are going to be used for resource mobilisation. Regulatory clearances, land acquisition, legal issues etc. act as impediments in implementation of infrastructural projects.

Though formation of a Development Finance Institution is welcome , asset-liability mismatch is a perennial problem when it comes to infrastructure funding. So how the issue of sources of funding is going to be tackled need to be seen. With hardly ₹20,000 crore disinvestment target met, out of ₹2.1-lakh crore set for 2020-21, achieving the new disinvestment goal will be a huge task. Overall though the steps taken by the Finance Minister are laudable, but the implementation part will be a big challenge.

Srinivasan Velamur

Chennai

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on February 04, 2021

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