The electricity and water bills are a big burden to the poor and middle class households. Some have overcome the problem by partitioning their houses and getting extra meters fixed. But it is not something everybody can do because you have to counter many hurdles on the way. A relief to the consumers can be brought about if the jumps in the billing systems are removed. I suggest a model like this for the electricity bill. Let the fixed charge be Rs.100, charge Rs.10 per unit for the first 10 units. Increase the rate by Rs.1.00 for intervals of 10 units. A similar pattern can be followed for the water bill too. Reduction of unproductive connections for the WB, EB and LECO will come as a byproduct.
Liquor is one of the most highly taxed items. If the tax on both local and foreign liquor is halved it will have some good effects. As there is a limit to the drinks one takes, the money thus saved will go to the family budget resulting in better food and clothing to the family members. It will attract the consumers of illicit brews and other intoxicants to less harmful legal stuff and at the same time, contribute something to the goverment revenue. Parallel to this excise duty on ethanol has to be increased and put a stop to flow of duty free liquor in to the country.
It is said that banks are in the habit of writing off bad debts. It is also said that the law of the land prohibit the publication of the names of the defaulters. Some food for thought for the lawmakers. It is quite fair for the government to impose a penalty on the banks in proportionate to amount written off.
At present some public servants are entitled for car permits. Some of them buy the vehicles and others sell the permits. Certainly, those hardworking public servants, who serve their motherland to the utmost, deserves to be rewarded. It is more ethical if they are given a bonus as allowance instead of permits.
Let every citizen in this country pay the same price for a vehicle. Taxes should be based on the landing value of the vehicle rather than other criteria.
If a trader makes a profit of 100% or anything near that, we say, he is black marketing. That means what he does is no good. Drawing an analogue we can say it is good governance if the tax limit is kept below 100%, of course, for food and for medicine it should be around 0%.
I myself an old pensioner. At last, long awaited revision came. Thanks. But we are not happy about withdrawal of the Rs.3500 allowance. We earnestly hope that it will be restored soon.
Among the elders there is a lot whose only source of income is the interest on investments.
Compromising between the manifestos of two leading parties on senior citizens’ FDs will be beneficial to them. In addition to the prevailing Rs.1 million at 15%, I suggest another 0.5 million at 12% for over 60, 1.0 million at 12% to over 65 and 1.5 million at 12% for over 70.
S G Dharmasena