Letters to the editor dated February 11, 2021

| Updated on February 11, 2021

Curbing expenditure

Apropos ‘Walking the tightrope’ (February 11), an appreciable fact is the 15th Finance Commission asking States to curb frivolous expenditure such as loan waiver. Many southern States adopt loan waiver schemes as an electioneering tool. As a measure to discourage such practices, while sharing the revenues the panel has suggested excluding the quantum of money spent by the States towards loan waivers and other freebies. Another notable point suggested by the panel is in stepping up revenues from stamp duty and registration of property.

RV Baskaran


Boosting growth

This refers to ‘An exercise to boost sentiment and growth’ (February 11). Indeed, the emphasis given to both healthcare and infrastructure will go a long way in boosting economic growth. As the public healthcare system was thoroughly exposed during the pandemic, it is time the capital outlay on health is spent judiciously with the help of private participation in the form of PPP projects. And it is an open secret that spending on infrastructure will have multiplier effects on other sectors like cement and steel. Besides emphasis on new projects, monitoring delayed projects should not be ignored.

Bal Govind


Civility back

Emotional speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress, brought back a sense of dignity and decorum into an increasing polarised polity. Not often in the recent past has Parliament been invaded by an outbreak of civility. The spirit of give and take seemed to have evaporated in Parliament with many sessions lost to the “in the well” attitude of the Opposition ranged against the intransigence of the Treasury benches when it came to lending an ear to diverse points of view. Civil debates on national issues have been few and far between.

The speeches by the PM and Azad reflect the true strength of our democracy.

Yash Pal Ralhan


Petroleum prices

The statement by the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas not to reduce taxes on petrol and diesel is unfortunate. The purpose of shifting to dynamic fuel pricing system from APM gets defeated. During Covid, when the economic activity came to a grinding halt, the international crude oil prices had hit rock bottom. Instead of passing on the benefit to the consumers, the government had increased excise duty and VAT (States) to maintain the price level.

Post Covid, with the rise in fuel demand, there is a scope for the government to reduce the excise rates, without compromising on revenue generation from duties. For resource mobilisation, government should explore other non-tax avenues instead of continuously targeting the consumers.

Srinivasan Velamur


Crop regulation crucial

‘FPOs show how to turn agriculture profitable’ (February 11) is a message to farmers across the nation for better sustainability. However, what also matters is to regulate crops based on market demand, in addition to ‘one crop, one district’ pattern advocated, which is evident from the plight of ginger farmers . With rabi acreage at its peak this year, it is likely that excessive foodgrain production may result in a sharp fall in prices, affecting the fiscal strength of farmers once again.

Rajiv N Magal

Halekere Village, Karnataka

Virtual repeal

This refers to ‘Modi defends farm laws again’ (February 11). The government has virtually agreed to all substantial demands of the farmer leaders and now by the Prime Minister himself in Parliament — MSP will continue, APMCs and mandis will continue, amendment in the farm laws will be made to remove objections to farm contracting and farmers have the option to follow these new laws for selling their produce or continue with the existing arrangement. The result is that the farmers’ agitation has lost its sheen.

YG Chouksey


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Published on February 11, 2021
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