█ Cashless society

Our reader Vinod C Dixit wrote to our feedback email after reading SBI chairman’s interview, ‘Going cashless shouldn’t become like a diet plan undertaken in a medical emergency but abandoned soon after’, dated December 18. He writes, “Demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is now forcing people to use plastic money for essential day-to-day purchases. The move urges youth to be ‘soldiers of change’ in turning India into a cashless economy or at least a ‘less-cash’ one. Our PM’s dream of ushering in a cashless economy is laudable, but it requires drastic measures to discipline traders and business establishments. PM has asked youngsters to teach their families about mobile payments and e-commerce services. No doubt with the torment and anxiety caused by demonetisation will remain for some time, the spurt in the use of plastic money and ewallets will prove a positive outcome, and India can reduce the use of cash for many transactions.”

█ Pin them down

C Koshy John wrote to our feedback email saying, “The proposal of the Election Commission of India (ECI) before the Central Board of Direct Taxes is that derecognised political parties should not be given tax exemption. These entities are often reported to have split huge amounts of poll funding into small sums (less than Rs 20,000) so as to escape the provisions of mandatory disclosure of sources as per the rules of the CBDT and Income Tax Act. According to the data provided by the Association of Democratic Reforms, the Congress has unaccounted income of Rs 2,323 crore and BJP has Rs 2,125 crore. In this context, the ECI would do well to have access to a special channel of investigation to verify doubtful cases of splitting poll funding by political parties.”

█ Don’t go

Referring to our news report, ‘Hurt Pawar quits’, dated December 18, our reader V Balasubramanian wrote to us saying, “One feels sad about Sharad Pawar quitting the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), piqued and hurt at the Supreme Court strictures claiming sports bodies are indulging in ‘lucrative business’. Pawar, who had done yeoman service to sports in Maharashtra, is right in feeling upset. The first-class MCA complex at Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai is a standing monument to Pawar’s administrative skills. I wish Pawar reconsiders his decision and continues the good work despite his age and ill-health.”

█ Have a heart

Our reader Sambhu Nath Chowdhury wrote to our feedback email after reading Dushyant Arora’s article, ‘Martyrs and manual scavengers’, dated December 16. He writes, “In 1901, Mahatma Gandhi raised the issue of the horrible working and social conditions of manual scavengers at the Congress meeting as he felt the practice was a national shame. In 1993, a law, mandating the demolition of all dry toilets was passed by the government that banned the practice of manual scavenging. Terming manual scavenging as ‘one of the darkest blots on India’s development process’, Manmohan Singh, the then PM, asked all the states to pledge to eliminate it by the end of 2011. Their problems will not end by removing toilets; the solution rests in providing an alternative livelihood.”

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