Posts Tagged ‘subsidy’

Gifts to the rich

April 25, 2010 1 comment

Thanks to Paranjoy Guha Thakurta for writing what must be in the minds of many — the government gets nothing by way of service taxes from doctors and lawyers, and could have gained an additional Rs. 10000 crores from taxing these two professions alone! And what he does not ask has been on my mind for a while — many doctors and lawyers with a private practice, i.e. outside a hospital or a firm, do not offer a receipt unless asked. Of course they always provide a receipt when asked, but many clients do not bother to ask for a receipt, especially if they are not reimbursed for the bills. Lawyers’ bills are not reimbursed in general anyway.

Guha Thakurta also mentions that `revenue foregone’, i.e. the revenue given up by the government by way of exemptions and concessions (and `incentives’ I suppose) to companies rose from Rs 4,58,516 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 5,40,269 crore in 2009-10. I wonder how much revenue is lost through not auditing the accounts of doctors and lawyers.

A possible RTI question would be how much income — outside salaries, if any — is declared by these professionals, and how many doctors and lawyers have been investigated by the Income Tax dept for lifestyles not appropriate to declared incomes.


Gas trouble

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

My gas cylinder ran out today. I am one of the few lucky Indians with a subscription to a second cylinder, so I could attach a full one. It made me think.

Our government cannot ensure an uninterrupted supply of cooking gas to all citizens. It makes a small amount of kerosene available through the public distribution system, which reaches only a fraction of the citizens. Even then the one liter of kerosene they get in a week, if they get it at all, is not enough to cook a meal for the week. So how does the government expect the citizens to cook? Or does it expect a (large) fraction of the population to remain badly fed?

And all this while the biggest subsidy on natural gas is being fought over by two brothers in a courtroom drama fit for prime time.

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