LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
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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
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.
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
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.