With reference to the news item ‘Fiscal system must be prepared for Minimum Income Guarantee scheme' (March 29), the former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan indicated that he is in line with the other noted economists and scholars, who are up in arms against the present regime.
He has every reason to feel aggrieved about the way he was eased out of governorship on completion of term. He also has every right to comment about the decisions which impacted the economy in the last four years.
But by advocating ‘Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme’, which will appear in the manifesto of a major opposition party, he has clearly indicated where his heart lies. Like Manmohan Singh, he could as well join any political party.
But staying outside and taking a political stand will create an impression that his appointment as RBI Governor was political (he was appointed by the erstwhile UPA government), though his academic credentials and achievements have few parallels.
Assault on honest taxpayers
The Income Tax Department is on overdrive to meet the government’s tax targets. But, in the process, it is targeting honest taxpayers with dubious tax demand claims. It has been noticed that the department is also clandestinely uploading backdated demand notices in the income tax portal.
Honest taxpayers are scapegoats and easy pickings for extraction, as the department does not seem to have the will and interest to get after black-money hoarders, defaulters and traders among others.
This has reference to the consumer credit growth report of TransUnion CIBIL (March 29). While the overall growth in unsecured lending is positive, on the secured credit front the same is reported to be moderate. This may not be a healthy sign in the long run since it may not lead to perpetual asset build-up (LAP and home loans) and would encourage unproductive spending on the part of consumers who end up paying EMIs and are, in the end, left with nothing. Since 2017 there has been a decline in consumer lending due to the entry of a large number of high-risk consumers into the credit market.
Already, lenders are burdened with huge NPAs and to arrest the growth of wilful defaulters, there is a need for banks and CIBIL to conduct regular awareness programmes for the benefit of genuine loan aspirants, on the importance of prompt repayment of existing loans.
It is gratifying to note that the US has defied China insofar as blacklisting Masood Azhar is concerned. The US has been reportedly moving resolution in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pulwama attack mastermind. It has been reported that there are two types of resolutions, namely, procedural and ‘substantial’ or non-procedural.
Procedural resolution does not invalidate a decision on account of negative vote if there are nine affirmative votes.
On the other hand, ‘substantive’ decision requires all the permanent members to vote. Negative vote of even a single permanent member invalidates the decision. In all the previous four occasions, it was non-procedural resolution that impeded the UN from blacklisting JeM chief Masood Azhar. China is the only country that has been consistently blocking the move to blacklist him.
The procedural resolution now adopted by the US, the UK and France gives a ray of hope that the terrorist mastermind is going to be blacklisted if nine countries give their affirmation.
In the interview, ‘Compliance under GST regime is much higher’ (March 29), the number of taxpayers under GST should read 120 lakh and not 120 crore, and the 1-1.5 lakh taxpayers added is for every month and not every day. Also, from July 1, 2017, taxpayers from all over the country, and not just from four States, have been uploading invoices. The error is regretted
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