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AUG 13 1999 OPINION LETTERS TO THE EDITOR : The Economic Times Online - India's No.1 Business Newspaper - Companies, Industry, Economy,Politics
AUG 13 1999
0033 hrs IST
1403 EST
1903 hrs GMT
ET Online


 forex rates
 sensex movement
 et tax centre



VATís the word
Apropos of the thought-provoking article by Parthasarthi Shome (ET, July 30), it cannot be gainsaid that one of the first tasks of the new government would be to frame a definite VAT policy frame-work along with a pragmatic plan for its implementation. This is because it has been proved by now that VAT enhances efficiency as regards the allocation of productive resources by reducing the cascading effect of tax.
The bitter truth is that the taxation of capital, whether in the form of income, interest, dividend or royalties has declined across the world gradually in the last 25 years. India cannot remain isolated in this regard. Hence, the need of an alternative tax base has to be explored. VAT has been in vogue in the European countries, Canada and Brazil already. India must learn from the experience of these countries and introduce such a VAT which is least complicated.
New Delhi, July 31

Water starved Kutch
Without any inkling of the ground realities celebrities like Arundhati Roy have decided to oppose the Sardar Sarovar project. As a native of Kutch I cannot even describe the acute water shortage faced by the region. In Kutch as as in many other regions of Gujarat water has become one of the most precious commodities.
This continuous struggle for water has made life all the more harsh in the region. Walking for miles in the scorching sun for that elusive supply of water may seem like a romantic dream for many in the city but in the villages of Kutch it is a bitter reality.
One can only plead with people like her to first get themselves acquainted with the ground realities in the region before passing any judgement.
New Delhi, July 27

Retirement age
The central government while implementing the 5th Pay Commission Recommendations has created a sort of a mess. Though it has given bonanza after bonanza to government servants, viz., increased pay package, higher retirement age and time bound promotions, in return it has not got anything such as punctuality, efficiency, etc . This was the right opportunity for the central government to negotiate a new work culture from the employees, particularly upto the middle level staff.
Further, the government should not have increased the age of retirement to 60. Raising of the retirement age from 58 to 60 has no rationale. The central government should review and roll back retirement age to 58.
Allahabad, August 6

Denial by Reliance
Reliance Petroleum (RPL) has denied any plan to participate in a gas pipeline venture from Pakistan to India. No such project is proposed or planned, a Reliance spokesman said.
Our correspondent replies: We have reliably learnt from highly placed government sources that RPL was exploring such a project. Given the cross-border nature of the project, discussions had been held at appropriate levels in the government.


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