Friday, March 5, 1999
Debate tax laws
It is a sad commentary on the quality of drafting amendments to the tax laws that the majority of the provisions relating to direct taxes in the Finance Bill, 1999 are a potent source of confusion. A series of meetings on the budget organised by eminent tax practitioners have exposed numerous lacunae in the amendments.
Is the interest rate reduction by RBI sustainable, or is it merely a strategy to ensure that the government's borrowing programme goes through smoothly and cheaply? Analysts have pointed out that the only reason why interest rates did not come under pressure during the current fiscal was because of the very large amount of accretion in deposits with the banks.
Collapse of the public distribution system
In 1981-82, the subsidy paid by the government to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to make good its losses, due to its supply of foodgrains at less than their economic costs was Rs 56 per quintal of the actual supplies made. In 1997-98, this went up to Rs 447 per quintal and in 1998-99, it is likely to cross the Rs 500-per quintal mark.