Letters

Letters to the editor dated October 26, 2021

| Updated on October 26, 2021

Senior citizens in a bind

The article on ‘Tax interest on Bank Deposits’ is relevant to India given the rising population of senior citizens. During 2011 to 2021, the general population has increased by 12.4 per cent while the elderly population has risen by 35.8 per cent. The old age dependency ratio which was 10.9 per cent in 1961 has risen to 14.2 per cent in 2011.

Unlike the West, India lacks a social security net. So the imposition of Bank interest to one’s tax liability adds to the woes of the investing public more particularly the senior citizens.

With the ever-increasing inflation, the post- tax interest rate of high slab assessee is in the range of 4 per cent making the real rates negative. As a result bank deposits have been drcreasing.

It is high time that the government hikes the present limit of tax-free interest from ₹10,000 to ₹1.2 lakh.

Roy Markose

Thiruvananthapuram

Term Deposits in banks are the single most preferred avenue of investment for the seniors because of safety and timely interest payments. They have good reason to mistrust schemes like Bonds, mutual funds and equity. With returns from deposits in banks now at sub 6 per cent levels, it is impossible for the seniors to live on interest income.

To make matters worse, even these meagre returns are subject to TDS deductions. Hopefully some political party would make this an electoral issue. Otherwise the government would keep telling the seniors to opt for other investment opportunities where the returns would be higher without making them aware of the risks.

Anthony Henriques

Mumbai

Worries over oil prices

Crude oil is already at around $85 and rising. Gas price from Russia to the Euro Zone is rising. Coal prices are only trending the ongoing global demand for energy and is under greater pressure as it is a fall back option to industries when gas and oil get costlier.

An abating pandemic has led to economic recovery and thus for sometime supply will lag, globally. Every nation must bear with high cost of coal, in particular.

Compared to oil and gas where production can be stepped up faster, increasing pit head stocks takes time.

The govt will be caught in a bind. It has already tweaked oil prices to record highs. With Assembly elections due in six months and with rising inflation it has not only to tone down oil prices but has to absorb coal price increase, to keep power charges from becoming an election issue.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai

Infrastructure delays

Apropos ‘1 out of 5 infra projects faces a delay of over 5 years’ (October 26), it is really shocking to note that the level of delay in Central projects. Though the reasons for delays are attributed to mainly Covid, it also reflects the non-coordination between several union ministries.

It is also further shocking to note that the state governments too contributed to this delay amounting to an approximate loss of ₹4.30 lakh crore which also falls on the tax-payer ultimately. Administering the entire country with several economic measures for development under different political regimes is certainly a huge task but certainly not impossible if properly planned and accountability infused amongst different sections of administration.

Developing infra-projects in the country is important and essential for all round development of the country which only can raise income generation and per capita incomes of the different sectors of society. Politicians should scrap ‘freebies’, which are justified as welfare measures and only give a helping hand to the needy .

Katuru Durga Prasad Rao

Hyderabad

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Published on October 26, 2021

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