Taxing for the public

Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:30am hrs
Apropos ‘ELSS: the mess that tax officials have created’ (Nov 14) by Sucheta Dalal. Ms Dalal has described the babus in the departments as being lazy. But these babus are shrewd enough to collect the money from unsuspecting taxpayers and so to call them lazy is not fair.

They have only become lethargic as they are never tested academically, once they have passed the qualifying civil services examinations.
All that the FM needs to do is to take one deep look at the department and he will realise how many babus are surviving without possessing even a basic knowledge of tax laws. For, their time and energy is spent intimidating honest taxpayers through their trusted middlemen, like tax consultants and chartered accountants.
Why doesn’t the government make efforts to ensure its taxmen possess up-to-date knowledge on tax laws Why can’t their promotions be determined on the basis of their performance and why isn’t the transfer policy enforced strictly In places like Mumbai and Surat, the officials hang onto their posts long after they have completed their tenures.
- M Govardhan

Broken dreams
This refers to the news item ‘Cosmos bank says no to RBI to be South Indian Co-op administrator’(Nov 15). This has shattered the dreams of thousands of depositors of South Indian Co-op Bank Limited. It clearly demonstrates how deadly the coterie of politicians can be.
- TP Viswanathan

Kudos, CBI
Kudos to the Central Bureau of Investigation for bringing Abu Salem to India (Salem, Monica brought back from Portugal; Nov 12), one of the accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case. It proves that without political pressure and with the gover-nment’s cooperation, the CBI can make even the impossible possible. Abu Salem’s interrogation will, hopefully, not only reveal his links with Bollywood and cricket match-fixing, but also important information about the other accused in the Mumbai blasts.
- Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee