Today's letters

 

Wealth Tax needs more clarification

If the rumours making rounds in the financial circles are to be believed, then most of the middle class IT payers in the upper brackets would be made liable to pay wealth tax. What is more ominous is the likely introduction of a new section in the proposed Direct Tax Code, which is under active consideration by the F.M. It takes into account the cash-in-hand, which is a continuously varying item, exceeding Rs. 2lakhs to be brought under the purview of the computation of Wealth Tax. But, as per accounting principles, even the balance in a savings bank account of an assesse is also treated as cash-in-hand. That means, practically every IT payer, who is hitherto not liable to pay wealth tax, would become a W.T. assesse. And, above all, how is the I.T. Dept going to determine this unless they let loose a raid raj by searching the house-hold accounts of the 3 crore and odd IT payers?

Jorhat Singh
Mumbai


100th 100 when?

The Australian cricket board needs to be applauded for dropping one of their key stalwarts from playing the one day format due to inconsistent form. It is surprising why the BCCI is not able to adopt such policies in persuading players who are ageing and out of form to step down. The rotation policy too is not helping India’s cause at the moment as most of the players have lost confidence in their abilities. It is wiser to play the best eleven in the given circumstances.

K Amul Chander
Bangalore

Privatise traffic

I urge upon the Government to Privatise Traffic control in big cities. The Government is on a continuing spree of registering  new vehicles every day without providing sufficient space for them to move or park. There are not many police personnel to control traffic at important junctions in the city. Undue long hours of commuting, frequent traffic jams,inadequate public transport system coupled with harassment by Traffic police on flimsy reasons have brought down the tolerance levels of the citizens.
The Traffic police have not initiated any measures to ensure smooth flow of traffic by
introducing innovative ideas. Instead, they are aiming at only collection of fines by penalising the vehicle owners, the latest addition being wearing of seat belts. Privatising traffic control is a way out of this messy situatiion.

S Shashidhar
Bangalore


UK response lacks grace

I refer to the article “Fuming Brits call for stopping aid, after India dumps Euro fighter” by Colin Todhunter.

It is not surprising that the British are incensed with India for taking a decision which did not favour the British aircraft. The US aircraft industry lost out too, but has accepted it with great finesse and diplomacy. The argument that India can spends millions of dollars on purchasing aircraft and not spend on the poor is fallacious. Would it be money well spent if India had bought British aircraft? Would the ‘poor’ have benefited with British aircraft? India is sovereign nation and the decision taken is transparent and based on its needs. The debate seems to convey the message that ‘aid’ is a form of bribe and one needs to be grateful for this. How can the Transparency International accuse India of being corrupt when donor nations consider aid as a form of enticement?

H.N.Ramakrishna
Bangalore

Porngate- Opposition needs to introspect

This is in regards to the pornclip issue which rocked the Karnataka legislative assembly.

This is a modern era, a time when high school students are also well aware of all the biological and physiological needs of mankind. One tries to fulfil it by various means. It is a proven fact that, nobody, including the ministers, as well as the common man, is immune to such things. Mere blame on the ministers is quite unfair and impractical and illogical on part of the opposition, which needs self-introspection.

Dr. Khaja Mohteshamuddin
Bidar


B.V Acharya's resignation a commendable act

This is in connection with B V Acharya's resignation as the Advocate General of Karnataka. In the backdrop of more and more civil servants and public personalities findings themselves in the midst of  scams and scandles, B V Acharya's resignation comes as a breath of fresh air to the other wise rotten public life in the state of Karnataka.

In his own words, the post of special public prosecutor was assigned to him in 2005 by the High Court of Karnataka under the direction of the Supreme Court of India. He considers the post of SPP entrusted to him by the highest court of the land as holier than the the much sought after post of advocate general. This is an act of professional ethics and a lesson to follow for those who are in the public domain. May his tribe increase.

P.Puttaraj
Bangalore


End the age row

It is unfortunate that we are witnessing the 'Date of Birth' controversy of Gen.V.K.Singh. If the Chief of Army can show records to prove that he was born in 1951 then that should be accepted and the matter must be gracefully resolved. The common man is to-day disgusted that people like the Army Chief, former ISRO Chief, etc are all being made 'controversial personalities' by the UPA Government.

Anniruddha Sudhir
Bangalore


Democracy's finest hour

The nation that waited with bated breath for Supreme Court's verdict must have felt euphoric after the judgment of the 2G scam. It is significant the Apex Court has held that the existing laws are more than adequate and that it is the people, who implement them are at fault.

H.R.Bapu Satyanarayana
Mysore

BCCI should to take strong measures

With all the media hype about the failure of the Indian batting unit, the failure of the bowling unit is sidelined. Indian bowling failed as a unit.  IPL gets the blame every time India fails, so BCCI should definitely give a thought about the cash rich league doing the damage.  Recently, Cricket Australia announced that it is not allowing Pat Cummins, the talented teenage pacer, for the upcoming IPL as part of their long term plans. Similarly, BCCI should consider denying  the permissions of playing for IPL to some of their players as part of their long term plans.  It should come up with some policy which stops the national team from being affected by the injury woes caused by too much cricket, because national duty comes ahead of the entertaining IPL.

Ajay Bharadwaj
Dharwad


Honour the honourable ones

Our tennis legend Leander Paes has completed a Grand Slam of doubles victories by bagging the coveted Men’s doubles crown in recently concluded Australian Open. Even, before this feat at Melbourne, he had a number of doubles championships to his credit, including those in other Grand Slams. Will the government now think in terms of bringing a postal stamp to honour this sportsman par excellence? Other legendary personalities deserving this felicitation include Vishwanathan Anand, Michael Ferreia, Dhanraj Pillai and Baichung Bhutia, if not already honoured.

Arun Malankar
Mumbai

ISRO’s unfortunate controversy 

Dear sir,

This is in reference with the article 'Controversy stuns scientific fraternity' dated (DH, Jan 25, 2012). It is unfortunate that India's 'Moon Man' Dr. G Madhavan Nair and three other eminent technocrats have been implicated and barred from holding any government posts over their alleged role in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.

To cast doubt on their integrity after the deal raises serious doubts on the credibility of the order and gives credence to the view that these eminent men have been made scapegoats to appease a select few in the organisation and the government. With questions raised on the likely role played by the PMO and Cabinet Secretariat in finalising the controversial deal the issue is likely to die down anytime soon and more skeletons may tumble out of the closet.

N J Ravi Chander
Bangalore


End Lokayukta stalemate

It is most unfortunate that the Governor and the Karnataka Chief Minister are at loggerheads at each other over the appointment of a suitable person to adorn the prestigious seat of the Lokayukta.  It is not understood why the Government is stubborn in recommending a suitable candidate.

B S Raghavendra Rao
Mysore



Railway progress at snail speed 

This has reference to the article, "Derailed Railway Projects" dated, (DH, Jan 24, 2012). The state government has always blamed the centre for the lack of railway network in the state over the years. The bottle neck in the expansion of railway network in the state is the delay in allotting the land for the project.

When the supreme court appointed a committee of Environment and Forest  Ministry for the Hubli-Ankola railway  project, the state should have put pressure to get the project cleared. Even after five years nothing is done and the railway minister for state K M Muniyappa repeats that the issue is taken up with the MOEF. So far a hundred crores has been spent and only about 40 km line is ready between Hubli and Kalghatgi.

Ramanand Sharma
Bangalore


Let's do some math

This is in reference to the article, "BBMP to upgrade 600 City humps" dated, (DH, Jan 23, 2012).  It was an interesting read, especially the line "BBMP sources say fund misuse is widespread in the BTRAC...". This is hardly surprising and much of the evidence, actually, is in full view.

Let me illustrate with one example. I have long wondered why the BBMP has taken pains to weld the letters "BTRAC" onto every street sign in Bangalore. Assuming the city has one lakh streets (1,00,000) and each of them has three street signs on each side (a total of six for such things as parking, humps, stop, etc) - that is a total of 6 lakh signs. Further assuming that the "BTRAC" signs welded onto these signs cost a minimum of Rs.100 (cost of materials plus labour), the expenditure on this rather unnecessary exercise of tagging its name costs a whopping Rs.6 crore. This figure may well be conservative and on the low side. Talk about wasting taxpayer money!

Shekar
Bangalore


 

Welcome Pooja Gandhi in politics

Dear sir,

Actor Pooja Gandhi's decision to formally join JD(S) and test political waters is heartening.The actor has a history of indulging in social work and has among other things excelled in working for the cause of the people living with HIV in north Karnataka. Besides, Pooja's commitment for women empowerment is well chronicled.However,the road ahead is long and hard and the actor's inability to converse fluently in Kannada could work against her. In the past the likes of the M G Ramachandran,N T Rama Rao and Jayalalithaa have made the switch from filmdom to politics with aplomb and their example should guide Pooja to carve out a successful political career.Here's wishing her well!

N J Ravi Chander,

Dear Sirs,

Minorities are not just vote banks

It is really unfortunate that during every election, Muslim votes are treated as a commodity and every political party angling for it with quotas, financial packages and assurance of quick justice in so called encounters and by banning books and people. It is high time that the community leaders tell the parties that their community is as good as any other community in India and that they have a mind of their own, which will not be carried away by empty promises of the parties.

P S Prabhu
Bangalore

Dip in inflation

Dear Sir,

Is it by any magic that the inflation figures are coming down and in the case of food inflation it has even turned negative in the recent weeks? The PM and the Union Finance Minister have been telling the nation that they have no 'magic wands' to tame inflation and if so what explains the sudden turn around?

Regards,
V. Padmanabhan
Bangalore


Sad day for the Army

Sir,

For the first time in the history of India, we have a serving Army Chief taking the Government of the country to the Supreme Court. While this may have created a (dubious) record of sorts, it has also dealt a body blow to the traditional apolitical relationship that existed between the Armed Forces and the Civilian Government of the day.

While it may be a fact that the issue of fixing the age of the General was handled in the most lackadaisical and ham-handed manner by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Gen. V.K.Singh has done irreparable damage to the prestige of the high office that he holds by dragging the Government to Court while still holding the appointment of the Chief of the Army Staff. Going by what has been reported ever since the issue came into the public domain, it is apparent that the General had  brought up the issue of his date of birth several times in the past, and on each occasion, his plea was not accepted by the MoD. He had even accepted the year of his birth to be 1950 when he was appointed as an Army Commander, citing the 'best interest of the Service', while doing so.

How is it then that a scant five months before his retirement, he deems it fit to move the Court on the same issue, knowing fully well the huge embarrassment such a move would cause, not only to the Government, but to the very organisation of which he is the Chief. If, as the General has stated ad nauseum, that it is not a matter of 'Army vs the Government', but a 'personal matter' between him and the Government to defend his integrity and honesty, the honorable thing would have been for him to have resigned, and then taken legal recourse.

How this unprecedented and extraordinary action on the part of Gen. V.K.Singh will affect the morale of the Force, only time will tell. What is painfully clear is that it is indeed a sad day for the institution that all Indians held in proud esteem..

Yours sincerely,

Wing Commander J.T.Nayaham
Bangalore


This officer no gentleman

Dear Sir

With reference to the issue of two dates of birth in the record of Army Chief of India, I would like to state that whenever a candidate fills the form for  admission or competitive exam, he or she has to declare that the information is true to his or her knowledge. His or her signature are the proof for this.

So, in the case of the Indian Army Chief, Mr V.K.Singh, the date of birth mentioned in the NDA form must be taken as the proof of his age. If at all, there is a discrepancy in his date of birth vis-a-vis his class X certificate, he must be 'penalised' and 'punished' for stating false age during his application
form for NDA exam. He must be immediately disqualified from his Army Post, and his pension stopped from being in operation after his dismissal.

What has the Army Chief to say in his defence now? One must not blackmail the civil administration, and threaten to go to the Supreme Court for this issue. Moreover, the Supreme Court must ponder on the issue of his stating false information while filling the application form. If it was indeed 1951,
he would not have been able to get admission due to his under age. Is this a good precedent on his part to let the House Master fill the form with wrong facts?

Gen V K.Singh must remain quiet and retire with full honours as per his date of birth in the Army records. For, it's not only his honour, but the prestige of the Indian Army too is at stake due to his antics!

Regards

Rakesh Verma
Doha, QATAR

 

Don't mix driving and mobiles

Dear Sir,

More and more people are driving while talking into their mobile phones. The majority do not use the hands-free option. This is a big risk not only for the drivers, but also for other road-users, more particularly pedestrians.

The traffic police have to get their act together and ensure that people do not use their mobiles while driving. Traffic wardens from civil society should be nominated to apprehend offenders for such minor traffic offences as the police say they are short staffed.

Thanking you
Yours truly

S Kamat
Goa


Reviving Sanskrit

Sir,

As stated in the article 'Retrieve treasure' (Deccan Herald, January 12) ' Sanskrit suffered because it got identified with a particular religion and upper castes.  Further, Sanskrit should not become the exclusive preserve of scholars, but reinvent itself as the language of mases. The government should play a greater role in this effort.

A.Gajanana

Think before you comment

Sir,

Andhra Pradesh DGP, Dinesh Reddy, has stirred a hornet’s nest by saying that crimes against women are due to

the provocative dresses they wear. His statement is true only to a certain extent. Crimes against women, largely, have no relation to the dress they wear. A rapist's mind is tuned to violate a woman's modesty. Even without provocative outfits, he is prone to attack women. The DGP has relied on statistics to prove his

point. But figures alone do not explain such crimes. I feel there should be stricter censorship on scenes shown in films and some crime serials on television. On their part, women must avoid lifts from strangers and must be more careful even with those known to them. They should be more forthcoming if they are suspicious about any men and report them to the police. Our police heads must be more careful before commenting on these issues.

Ganapathi Bhat
Akola

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