Cities under waters; Taxes up, growth down; Girls night out

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Opinion Watch

Cities under waters

Corruption in civic bodies across the country is sickening, and the people bear the brunt of their rank misgovernance on daily basis by walking in knee deep waters, falling into manholes, bitten by stray dogs and monkeys, inhaling toxic and dust-laden air and so on.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has sought to decipher growing disconnect of politicians with worsening civic amenities. The daily laments the politicians’ compulsive populism, while cities are drowned after a spell of heavy rains. Gurugram is horrendous in rains, and so is Delhi. The daily gives an account of road cave-ins in the millennium city, Delhi and Noida after the national capital region was lashed with October rains.

The Pioneer quotes Marrie Antoinette, the Queen of France during the French Revolution, ‘let them eat cake’ to compare with ‘let them have slogans’, as all claims of smart cities float in paper planes in cities with a few days of rains. The Noida-based daily rightly tells that this has now become a normal, with similar incidents reported from all parts of the country – Hyderabad, Sikkim, West Bengal, etc.

“Crass demagoguery and reckless populism are no substitutes to governance,” The Pioneer tells the political class. But who is listening, when the people vote their castes in elections, and those who are not fit for employments find refuse in politics.

Taxes up, growth down

Irony of the Indian economy is that the government coffers are bloating with rising tax revenues, while the economy struggles to create employments and raise income.

The Economic Times in its Editorial calls upon the India Inc to show the animal spirit, as the GST collections went up by 23.8 per cent to Rs 8.98 lakh crore till October 8, while direct taxes were up 16.3 per cent. The daily argued that the gains could be on account of windfall taxes on export of oil products, depreciated rupee raising earnings of IT companies and better exports.

The business daily urged the Indian Inc to spur the private investment, noting that gross fixed capital formation at 34.7 per cent in Q1FY23 is near 2020 levels before the pandemic struck.

The Indian Express has also commented on a healthy growth in the personal income tax at 32 per cent. The Noida-based daily has taken note of higher capital expenditure by Ministries such as Surface and Road Transport, Railways, while cautioning the government of high subsidy outgo which may derail fiscal deficit management. The two dailies failed to explain why the Indian economy is not going full steam when taxes are swelling the coffers. Is it a case of stingy taxations?

Girls night out

India too sleeps at night. There are a few exceptions such as Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Indore where life doesn’t come to standstill during nights, particularly for women.

The Times of India in its Editorial has turned attention on some of the initiatives such as Delhi lieutenant governor VK Saxena’s plan to allow 300 establishments work round the clock, Muvattupuza in Kerala conducting ‘Girls Night Out’, while Jammu and Kashmir has opened cinema halls and also allowed trade of beer in the Union territory. These are some of the efforts to break free from the social binds. They need to be scaled up, for the forces of economy have power to blow away the social dogmas.

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