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The Hindu Business Line - - THINK -

Black money

This refers to ‘Two years af­ter note ban, tax­man has no ‘pre­cise data on black money un­earthed’” (De­cem­ber 7). The in­come-tax au­thor­i­ties’ push to­wards mon­i­tor­ing non-filers, scru­tiny as­sess­ment, and ‘search and sur­veys’ are im­per­a­tive to fur­ther un­earth the un­ac­counted wealth, which is still abun­dant. By and large, the de­mon­eti­sa­tion of high-value cur­rency has not served the pur­pose for which it was ex­e­cuted as the non-pay­ers of in­come tax are still at large, al­beit there has been a sub­se­quent surge in the fil­ing of in­come-tax re­turns. High-value be­nami trans­ac­tions have been made through the ac­counts opened un­der the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yo­jana. Crit­i­cal scru­tiny and anal­y­sis of these ac­counts and the in­cre­men­tal I-T re­turns filed af­ter the de­mon­eti­sa­tion will pave way for bring­ing out the un­ac­counted wealth. Real es­tate deals around the time of de­mon­eti­sa­tion must be brought un­der the lens of the tax­man. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the in­tro­duc­tion of more tax­payer-friendly schemes will in­duce peo­ple to step for­ward to vol­un­tar­ily de­clare the un­ac­counted wealth and pay the tax. Though de­mon­eti­sa­tion was in­tended to flush out black money, the tax­man hasn’t been able to pro­vide data on the quan­tum of black money re­trieved. It will be a big achieve­ment if the gov­ern­ment fur­nishes this in­for­ma­tion be­fore its term. VSK Pil­lai

Kot­tayam

Aad­haar Act

Apro­pos ‘Govt pre­pares Cab­i­net note to strike down Sec­tion 33(2) of Aad­haar Act’ (De­cem­ber 7), it was nice to learn that the gov­ern­ment is now con­tem­plat­ing cer­tain changes in the Aad­haar Act, in­clud­ing strik­ing down Sec­tion 33(2), which was held “un­con­sti­tu­tional” by the Supreme Court. Sec­tion 33(2) al­lows iden­tity and au­then­ti­ca­tion of data to be dis­closed in the in­ter­est of na­tional se­cu­rity on the di­rec­tion of an of­fi­cer not be­low the rank of Joint Sec­re­tary to the gov­ern­ment.

How­ever, the re­ported think­ing within the Law Min­istry is that an of­fi­cer “be­low” the rank of a Joint Sec­re­tary can have the power of the gov­ern­ment’s newly pro­posed ‘ad­ju­di­cat­ing of­fi­cer’. This is in­con­sis­tent with the apex court’s or­der of Septem­ber 26. How come? Strangely, the gov­ern­ment of the day seems to have some other ideas on this count too.

SK Gupta

New Delhi

Pro­mote food pro­cess­ing

This refers to ‘Govt moves to dou­ble farm ex­ports by 2022’ (De­cem­ber 7). This is nec­es­sary for in­creas­ing farm in­comes and re­duc­ing grow­ers’ dif­fi­cul­ties given the re­cent painful news of dis­tress sales by farm­ers. While some com­men­ta­tors of­ten ad­vo­cate set­ting up cold stor­age chains, the root cause of dis­tress is lo­gis­tics re­lated.

Small farm­ers, es­pe­cially grow­ers of veg­eta­bles and fruits, have nei­ther the means to move pro­duce into cities nor the dis­tri­bu­tion net­work in the cities to sell their pro­duce. They are, there­fore, forced to sell it in the vil­lage it­self to mid­dle­men. Cold stor­age may of­fer lit­tle so­lace in such sit­u­a­tions. It may just de­lay the pain.

We also need to en­cour­age the food pro­cess­ing in­dus­try, where pro­ces­sors would buy in bulk, en­cour­age con­tract farm­ing and pro­vide steady in­come to farm­ers.

A multi-player pro­cess­ing in­dus­try will pre-empt mo­nop­o­lis­tic ex­ploita­tion pro­ces­sors.

V Vi­jayku­mar Pune

Ul­tra glory

of farm­ers by This is with ref­er­ence to ‘Ul­tra glory’ (De­cem­ber 7). In In­dia, we give too much im­por­tance to cricket at the cost of other games. Hence we hardly know about other sports, and those who win lau­rels in these sports are sel­dom given any me­dia cov­er­age. Right from school days, stu­dents should be given a fair idea about var­i­ous sports. In­stead of spend­ing hun­dreds of crores in host­ing ma­jor sport­ing events, the gov­ern­ment should fo­cus on en­cour­ag­ing sports at the ground level. A sub­stan­tial amount should be spent on sports right from the pri­mary school level.

Veena Shenoy

Thane

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