Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Budget 2006

I expect the following in budget 2006:
The budget shall be a surplus budget.
Calendar year shall be Financial Year. Budget 2006 shall be for April – December 2006.
There shall be uniformity in tax rates. Income tax exemption limit is Rs.1,00,000/- except for women which is Rs.1,25,000/- and senior citizens Rs.1,50,000/-. The exemption limit for all should be Rs.1,50,000/-. Mostly men are the sole earning members and senior citizens do not have to take care of children.
Lot of money that is collected through taxes and spent on various schemes does not help the people. There is swindling and corruption. The country will be better off without these schemes. Taxes also lead to corruption. This has to be avoided. The Finance Minister shall announce the following:
Income Tax will be reduced by 1% per year and after 30 years there will be no Income Tax.
Service Tax will be reduced by 1% per year and after 10 years there will be no Service Tax.
Other taxes will be reduced gradually.
Subsidies will be abolished.
Employment Guarantee Scheme will be wound up.
MPLADS will be abolished.
There will be constitutional amendment to abolish Profession Tax.
Mid-day meal scheme will be scrapped.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Ministry of Human Resource Development implement a number of schemes. They will come to an end.
Backward Regions Grant Fund will come to an end.
There will be no special economic packages for Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern Region or any other State or region.
The Rural Infrastructure Development Fund will come to an end.
The UPA Government will not do anything:

  •  to bring an additional one crore hectares under assured irrigation;
  • to connect all villages that have a population of 1000 (or 500 in hilly/tribal areas) with a road;
  • to construct 60 lakh additional houses for the poor;
  • to provide drinking water to the remaining 74,000 habitations that are uncovered;
  • to reach electricity to the remaining 1,25,000 villages and offer electricity connection
  • to 2.3 crore households; and
  • to give telephone connectivity to the remaining 66,822 villages.

Bharat Nirman’ will be scrapped.
Government will not provide equity support.
National Horticulture Mission will come to an end.
A Knowledge Centre in Every Village is the job of villagers.
“Promotion of SSI Schemes” will come to an end.
Indira Awas Yojana will come to an end.
National Urban Renewal Mission will come to an end.
Education cess will come to an end.
Cash withdrawal tax will come to an end.
Financial Institutions will unload their holdings. It is not the business of the government to keep up stock markets.

National Awards

Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushana, Padma Bhushana and Padma Shree are national awards conferred by the Government of India. They are not titles. The Constitution of India forbids conferring of titles by the Government of India. They are not meant to be added before names.
They are announced at the time of Republic Day. Sometimes Bharat Ratna award is announced at other times. Many times there is fight for awards. Some people feel they should have got it.
Bharat Ratna has been devalued over the years. Janata Dal led National Front Government started to confer it on persons dead long back. Other Governments continued it. United Front Government after its fall conferred it on six persons in three months. Those who excel in art by playing musical instruments or singing songs can be given other awards. Conferring Bharat Ratna on them has devalued it. It should be only for people who have rendered service at national level or done something of national importance.
The President of India and the Union Council of Ministers must note the abuse of national awards by adding them to names and take appropriate steps to stop it.

Presidential System

Events in Karnataka have once again shown the fragility of Parliamentary System. It is high time we followed Presidential System. The President and Governors shall have executive powers. They shall hold office for five years unless they die, resign or removed through impeachment. The President and Vice President shall continue to be elected as they are. Members of Legislative Assemblies shall elect the Governors. The President and Governors shall have veto power, which can be overturned by Parliament or Legislative Assemblies by two third majorities. The Governors shall have the power to appoint High Court Judges. The removal of High Court Judges shall be by Legislative Assemblies.

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