May 162012
 

On 7/5/2012 Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced rollback of excise on gold. Nobody spoke against rollback. Jewellers had opposed it. Sriprakash Jaiswal, a minister, had talked against it. Being coal minister he had nothing to do with gold. Delegations of jewellers had met Sonia Gandhi. There were no discussions on TV channels against rollback.

Gold is not a necessity. Jewellers on strike would not have made much difference to ordinary people. Marriages would have taken place without gold.

When there is rollback of price rise of diesel, petrol, kerosene and LPG there are discussions on TV channels. There is criticism that this is good politics and bad economics. When excise on gold is rolled back there is no discussion. TV channels get ad revenue from jewellers. Free news media is a myth. When TV content is dictated by who gives ad revenue there is no freedom.

If the ground for rollback is that it will lead to corruption and harassment, that applies to excise on all items, not just for gold and jewellers. Other businessmen also face harassment. Excise on all items should be abolished.

There is service tax on various items and people who raise bills have to collect service tax and deposit it with the government except for transport. Transporters raise bills that do not mention service tax but service tax is deposited by people who make payment.

Rule of law means equality before law. When law is applied differently there is no rule of law. When jewellers and transporters are treated differently it is wrong.