The Constitution says the CAG shall perform its “duties and exercise such powers in relation to the accounts of the Union and of the States and of any other authority or body as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament…” (CAG can audit private telcos, says High Court, Business Line, January 7). Those who drafted the Constitution might not have foreseen the kind of scrutiny now being necessitated by the vanishing accountability of ‘public servants’. If the key principle of financial management — that sources and uses of public funds should be subject to prudent accounting — is still valid, contesting the right to audit by those vested with that responsibility doesn’t stand reason.
M. G. Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram
Size doesn’t matter
Maruti Suzuki has introduced a smaller version of its popular Swift Dzire to bring down its cost by availing an excise duty cut. Currently, excise duty on cars is based on their length, and several super-luxury cars enjoy tax cuts thanks to their small size.
The Government should levy differential rates of ad-valorem excise duty on cars according to their ex-factory price rather than their linear dimensions.
Remember, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh had once rightly termed SUVs as ‘Socially Useless Vehicles’ misusing diesel-subsidy for elite rich.
Subhash C. Agrawal, Delhi
Citing security reasons, some banks are planning to restrict the functioning of ATMs situated in peripheral areas during late hours (Banks approach RBI to hike ATM transaction fee, Business Line , January 7). The major constraint for banks seems to be the expenditure on ATMs. Banks should have tie-ups with petrol bunks and share security costs. It will be a win-win situation.
S. Rajaraman, Coimbatore