Resolving Cauvery war
Apropos of the article “Troubled waters” (FE, September 15), with ASSOCHAM putting the loss incurred from the unprecedented violent protests in the Bengaluru over sharing of Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu at R25,000 crore, there is lots to be said of governments ‘playing the fiddle’ as part of vote-bank politics. The violence has indeed tarnished the image of the Silicon Valley of India, dubbed so for its business-friendly environment. With the issue of the quantum of sharing still hanging fire and no solution in sight to the long-standing water row, the future looks bleak. It is almost very likely more such protests not just in the Garden city, but elsewhere within Karnataka will continue to pose a challenge to tech firms that put the state on a high pedestal as far as the Indian IT story is concerned. One hopes the face-off between the two states will come to end soon, with the issue resolved amicably with the Union (or the courts?) mediation.
R Prabhu Raj
Scrapping the general budget
Apropos of the article “Why only Rail Budget, scrap the General Budget too” (FE, September 13), the column, citing former finance minister Jaswant Singh, rightly holds that full-time government attention was required to attain high-growth and that tax policy decisions should not have to wait for the budget. The budget should ideally be limited to just presenting the revenue and expenditure statement before the Parliament. Current finance minister Arun Jaitley did not spare even senior citizens of the country when he served a serious blow to them by taking a big pie out of their meagre interest incomes from their lifelong savings invested in various government schemes. In any case, the hype and secrecy attached to the Union Budget should go, and that is possible only if the budget is confined to being a statement of revenue and expenditure. Let the government take a holistic view of other policy round the year—that way, it should be able to carry out all needed modifications at any time. As regards changing the financial year, the government is duty-bound to wait for the recommendations of the Shankar Acharya. But it may be interesting if it is aligned with the year that RBI follows (July 1 to June 30). Needless to say, it could always prove to tall talk by the government.
SK Gupta, Delhi