Abolish income tax
Parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy’s suggestion that the income tax be scrapped is 100% right and worth implementing at the earliest. Chanakya Neeti also says that more taxes lead to more tax evasion amounting to corruption, i.e., black money. A part of the latter is used as election funds to the political parties. People already pay number of indirect taxes under various names, like service tax, CST, GST, property tax, wealth tax, education cess, VAT and what not. And more than 85% of the Indian population is either poor or from the lower-middle class. Minimum taxes also cause a hike in morality and the sense of social and economic responsibilities towards the nation.
Emission mitigation strategies
Apropos of the piece ‘Checking the carbon damage’, (FE, June 16), global warming is a reality. The linear model of economy dominating the world has caused enormous damage to the planet because of its resource-intensive, fossil-fuel-dependent and polluting methods of production, products and lifestyles. The carbon dioxide levels which was 280 ppm(parts per million) before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, have today reached an alarming level of 400 ppm and counting. This is happening at a time when the safe limits have been set by climate scientists to not more than 350 ppm which alone will prevent the most-dreaded possibility of a 20Celsius rise in atmospheric temperature that carries catastrophic results with it. The world is already witnessing the ill-effects of excessive accumulation of greenhouse gases which is melting glaciers, pushing up the sea levels and jeopardising the coastal regions, causing oceans to become acidic that is affecting corals and marine creatures, causing birds to lay eggs earlier, flowers to bloom earlier, bees to fly earlier. As for India, it has to expedite the efforts at reducing the emission intensity by 35% of 2005 levels and making renewable energy 40% of the total energy share by 2030. The per capita carbon emissions of an Indian is currently 1.8 tonnes which is, as a cold comfort, better than that of USA and China! It should be remembered that the productivity of a thermal-sensitive crop like wheat, an important food crop in India, can be harmed by climate change. Also, CCS(Carbon Capture and Storage), the emerging but important technique to tackle CO2 has to be considered. Recently, an Icelandic research from the University of Southampton, UK has shown that carbonated water(captured CO2 mixed in water) can be mineralised, i.e., converted into carbonate minerals if it is injected into basalt rocks, within a short span of 2 years. Since the Deccan Traps in India are home to basalt rocks, power plants can try this water-intensive but promising option.
CV Krishna Manoj