On to the general budget
Here’s what the aam aadmi hopes to hear about in the budget: The income tax slab limit must be raised by at least up to Rs 5 lakh per annum for the relief of the salaried class (forget abolishing IT, which Modi himself had suggested in one of his campaigns!).
Standard deduction must be reinstated. Businessmen, landlords and some professionals can offset every expense they incur to earn income. But the salaried class cannot even offset expenses on basic needs as ‘standard deduction?’ Why this stepmotherly treatment to the salaried class?
Why doesn’t the FM want to increase the transport allowance to a decent level? Similarly, looking at the cost of mounting health care expenses, the Rs 15,000 exemption limit is just paltry. Here too, the exemption limit should be increased to a logical extent.
It is high time agricultural income is brought into the income tax net. Many politicians and others, under the guise of being ‘agriculturists /farmers’, have been evading income tax for decades.
Last but not least, let the FM recover unaccounted wealth, assets and cash from the most corrupt, which would certainly be enough revenue to wipe off the budget deficit. Perhaps, income tax on the salaried class could be entirely eradicated then.
S Krishna Kumar
Desperately seeking Haryanvis
The hue and cry raised by the JDU and the RJD over Haryana BJP leader Dhankar’s ‘Bihari Bride’ remarks is nothing but a desperate attempt by these parties to keep themselves relevant in Bihar politics after their humiliating defeat in the recent Parliament elections. It is a fact that in Haryana, the sex ratio is skewed greatly in favour of men, the main reason being female foeticide.
This situation has forced men in Haryana to look for life partners beyond Haryana’s border, ignoring caste and language barriers. Even Kerala, the southernmost state of India, about 3000 km away from Haryana, has given over a hundred of Malayali girls in marriage to men in Haryana. In the northern part of Kerala, such marriages are termed as ‘Haryana Kalyanam’ (Haryana marriage).
Similarly, Haryanvi men are scouting for women who are willing to be their better halves in other states of India as well. In this context, it is very clear Dhankar has not shown any disrespect to Bihari girls by his statement in question.
P P Vijayakumar Nair
The shell-shocking defeat of Brazil by Germany by 7 to 1 goals is very mortifying. One of the most reputed, football-loving nations put in a miserable performance, breaking the hearts of 200 million Brazilian fans and many more admirers like me globally.
The Brazilian team needs to focus on delivery and not on hype.
The team was shaky even when Neymar was playing; without him, the team crumbled. But enough tears; the team should gear up and at least win the third position, so as to redeem some of the faith of the heartbroken Brazilian fans.
Rajendra K Aneja
The year 2014 is proving to be a bonanza for sports enthusiasts all over the world. Apart from the regular Grand Slams, the year is witnessing the football carnival, to be followed by the cricket season, and the Glasgow Games, in close succession.
Fisticuffs in Parliament
Some MPs were displaying gymnastic feats in the Parliament (July 9). Some Parliamentarians had used abusive words and threatened other MPS. Members on both sides should understand that Parliament is a debating place and the law makers should appreciate their position. The common man has reposed his faith in the MPs. Wasn’t it recently that a political party had conducted classes for newly-elected MPs? Is this the lesson taught to them in these classes? The sanctity of Parliament should be maintained at all costs because MPs come and go, but the institution survives.
S S Nair
While we bite the bullet
The rail budget has thrown up a new form of social disparity. People may now be judged by whether they are bullet train travellers or just regular train travellers. Because it doesn’t seem like everyone will be able to afford travel by bullet train. Is its introduction purely to satisfy the corporate world then?
Could the railways facing such a huge financial crunch, have done away with this project and instead, introduced more fast and superfast trains, benefiting a larger number of passengers?
Cleanliness, hygienic food and security are still concerns for a majority of travellers. Will these be really taken care of, as has been projected or will things go back to the same old after a while? Only time will tell.
Gujaratisation on track
Apropos ‘Rail Budget Populism v/s elitism’ (July 9), I feel Modi is in selective amnesia on account of his brute majority. His railways, quite unexpectedly, treat every Indian life, the poorest of the poor most, with equal indifference, much against his pre-poll promises (no longer solemn now). Gujaratisation has come in full swing.
All we want is punctuality and ‘basic travel comforts’. A ‘cutting chai’, sipped out of little plastic cups today is better than ‘elaichi chai, in say, 2019.
Subrahmanian S H