Editorial : No holy cows
After the Panama papers expose, govt is tightening the noose around those involved in any wrong doing
PANAMA PAPERs : everything is wrong?
- Investing in off shore companies is not illegal. India’s Overseas Direct Investment scheme, since 2013 allows it by complying to some rules and disclosure norms
- Multi Agency Group, which includes officers from Central Board of Direct Taxes, Financial Intelligence Unit and RBI will probe the cases of Panama papers but distinction has to be made between legitimate accounts and those that violate the law
Off shore investments-need deeper look
- However, there is need to also ascertain whether people who invested in offshore firms did it purely to avoid tax payments nationally.
- India has every right to be concern about issues of tax avoidance as it needs revenues to fund social and capital investments. India has low tax to GDP ratio (10%) and just over 42000 individuals earning over 1 crore annually and paying tax
- India is party to international agreement which help in automatic exchange of information regarding issues of tax avoidance
Disclosure- govt responsibility as well
Govt should put in public domain no of various income tax payers in various income brackets and collections. It will add to legitimacy and greater tax compliance
Editorial : IPL vs drought
Bombay High Court deciding on a PIL of holding IPL matches in drought hit Maharashtra has cleared inaugural match but fate of 19 other matches hang on court decision after 12 April. The PIL has challenged the use of nearly 60,000 litres of water to maintain pitches at three stadiums in the State which will hold IPL matches.
Important Points :
- Court asked from the govt should the cricket tournament be held when people in drought hot area are going without drinking water. Court might be doing injustice to serious issue by framing question like that
- Summarily blaming one activity for the drought (or fear of exacerbating it) distracts from quest of finding real solution
- Apart from generating ‘flawed’ opposition, it perpetuates the culture of blaming small things rather than focusing on localized water conservation measures like check dams, farm ponds or supplying potable water.
- IPL is a event which requires meticulous planning. Last minute changes in the schedule apart from producing unnecessary challenges also deprive local population of various job opportunities
Editorial : Lessons from the Chinese veto
Indo-Chinese relations on the security front continue to strain. Recent developments show further strain like China blocking Indian resolution.
Important points :
- China recently blocked Indian attempt at U.N. to ban Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
- Despite repeated assurances by China to stand by India it has let India down and blocked it 5 times in two years.
- India should rethink its strategy for isolation of terrorists.
- Indo-China relations are further strained by India’s closeness to USA and China’s economic interests in Pakistan.
- In the view of the Editor India must show that it is willing to work with every world power to isolate terrorists.
- Real requirement seems to be of deft diplomacy and continued engagement with China .
Editorial : Promoting equity with variable fees
IIT’s have been institutions providing quality education at a low cost but the outcoming graduates often migrate out of India. The recent fee hike at IIT’s brings the issue back to the forefront
Important points :
- The Human Resource Development Ministry raised the annual fees at IIT to 2 lakhs, keeping exemption for backward classes in place.
- Editor suggests that fees for higher education should be structured in such a way that socio-economic conditions of the candidate do not affect his enrollment chances.
- IIT graduates in the past have left the country in search of better prospects abroad, reducing social returns of the low cost education provided in the country.
- It is imperative to attract and retain talent while protecting equity and academic freedom. This can be done through a funding system which allows income linked loan to the graduate and his ability to earn not the status of his parents.
- The IIT’s are suggested to still offer generous assistance via charity. This in the Editor’s view will serve as a model for education.