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regular-article-logo Friday, 26 July 2024

Letters to the Editor: Tigers a resilient breed

Readers write in from Calcutta, Hooghly, Jamshedpur, Guwahati and Ujjain

The Editorial Board Published 04.02.23, 03:54 AM
An annual state-level census of tigers in the Sunderbans has shown that repeated cyclones like Amphan and Yaas have failed to reduce the tiger population in the area.

An annual state-level census of tigers in the Sunderbans has shown that repeated cyclones like Amphan and Yaas have failed to reduce the tiger population in the area.

Bullish business

Sir — The bear and the bull have traditionally been the two animals that have represented the stock market and its intrepid investors. However, the tiger might serve as a better alternative to portray a market that is resilient to headwinds. An annual state-level census of tigers in the Sunderbans has shown that repeated cyclones like Amphan and Yaas have failed to reduce the tiger population in the area. Perhaps Dalal Street can take a leaf out of the Reserve Bank of India’s book and replace the bull in front of the Bombay Stock Exchange with a tiger. In a stormy economy, the tiger may bolster the market.

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Saswati Biswas, Calcutta

Mixed bag

Sir — Pragmatic is the perfect word to describe the Union budget for 2023 (“A pragmatic budget”, Feb 2). Bibek Debroy has highlighted several pros and cons of the budget, praising the reforms in import duty on mobile phones and lab-grown diamonds while criticising the proposals for cuts in direct tax rates. He has rightly argued that a Direct Tax Code with zero exemptions will be far more beneficial for people than the complicated exemptions granted under the older regime, which only fill the pockets of chartered accountants and lawyers. Debroy’s observation that improving capital expenditure is more important than populist tax cuts is justified.

Sukhendu Bhattacharjee, Hooghly

Sir — The budget presented by the Union finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, is one without any novelty (“Tightening the screws”, Feb 2). Sitharaman’s policies have largely ignored the poor. The drastic cuts in funding for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the National Food Security Act, not to mention the complete disregard for major schemes which guarantee minimum support price for farmers such as the Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan is ample proof of this. Political favouritism towards rich industrialists at the expense of common people may hurt the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chances in the upcoming elections.

Paramananda Pal, Calcutta

Sir — The budget for the financial year 2023-24 seems to have been prepared keeping in mind the upcoming state and Lok Sabha elections (“Fruits for polls”, Feb 2). The budgetary allocations for health and education have received paltry hikes, while defence spending has seen a substantial increase of around 13%. There was also very little in the budget about the government’s plans to provide employment to crores of unemployed youths. Instead, Nirmala Sitharaman chose to provide them with a monthly stipend under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, which seems to be like the rewadis that the BJP dislikes.

A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati

Sir — The budget for the much-fabled amrit kaal has left salaried taxpayers disappointed. Although the salary threshold below which one does not need not pay any tax has been increased to Rs 7 lakh, only those who opt for the new tax regime can avail of this benefit. The gains that citizens can accrue from tax-saving investments have also seen negligible change. The salaried middle class in India has suffered significant setbacks in the aftermath of the pandemic. The budget should have made attempts to address their concerns.

Abhijit Roy, Jamshedpur

Sir — The budget has brought good news for job seekers as it proposes to create 38,800 new teaching jobs under the Eklavya Model Residential School scheme as well as set up 157 nursing colleges. The Centre has also announced a development package for artisans and traditional craftsmen. Such initiatives deserve to be lauded.

Aaditya Chouhan, Ujjain

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