Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 16 June, 2020

Every Monday to Saturday, The Dispatch brings to you a selection of Editorials from leading newspapers across the country.


Too many taxes

“GST council needs to reexamine indirect tax architecture, reduce exemptions and tax slabs,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “In yet another instance that underlines the continued complexity of the indirect tax regime in India, the Authority of Advance Ruling, Karnataka, has differentiated between a parota and a chapati for the purpose of levying of GST taxes. The authority has held that frozen (and preserved) parota, wheat and Malabar, sold in ambient and frozen form with a shelf life of three to seven days, is distinct from a khakhra or a chapati. The former will attract a GST rate of 18 per cent, while the latter is taxed at a lower rate of 5 per cent. In shifting to the GST architecture, the hope was that switching to fewer tax slabs would put to rest such problems of classification that had plagued the erstwhile indirect tax regime. But, as instances such as this one underline, in practice the new indirect tax regime has been neither as “good” nor as “simple” as was initially touted. The tax system continues to remain complex and complicated. And instead of the promise of “one country, one tax”, the country still has a plethora of tax rates,” read the full editorial here.

Moth and flame

“Sushant Singh Rajput managed not only to break big into the movies, but to achieve what all aspirants hanker after,” read the editorial of Indian Express. It further reads, “The siren call of showbiz is strong and it draws an endless stream of young hopefuls to it, like moth to flame, even when so few emerge on the other side. It becomes doubly difficult when you are a rank outsider. Sushant Singh Rajput, whose untimely death is being widely mourned, managed not only to break big into the movies, but to achieve what all aspirants hanker after: Fame, popularity, stardom,’ read the full editorial here.


Fear and trembling

“Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragedy speaks to the wider mental health challenge of Covid times,” reads the editorial of The Times of India. It further reads, “Governments and other institutions the world over are intensely focused on saving our bodies from Covid-19. While the virus is most brutal to the lungs it is known to extensively damage other vital organs and bodily systems too. But beyond the physical threat, this virus together with the containment strategies it compels has also caused deep hurt to our ineffable inner selves. Call it soul or hearts and minds. So, as much as the shocking suicide of young Sushant Singh Rajput is a completely individual act, it speaks to the wider mental health challenge of these pandemic times,” read the full editorial here.

Talk the talk

“Russia – India – China virtual meet offers a platform,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads,” India’s relations with its northern neighbours are on a downswing. With China’s expansionist encroachment and Nepal’s cartographic aggression, Indian diplomats now face new challenges. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s assertion that the country is trying to resolve the conflict with China through talks is a welcome reaffirmation of the diplomatic process. It is also a step to cool down the overtly nationalistic jingoism that has the potential of steering the discourse towards a non-tenable position,” read the full editorial here

Politics takes a digital turn

“Innovate, but also ensure bottom-up communication,” read the editorial of the Hindustan Times. It further reads, “Political parties are embracing technology to reach out to their workers, and voters, in times of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. A report in this newspaper, on Monday, outlined how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been quick to adopt digital tools to launch a series of rallies over the past week. The aim of these rallies is to reach 25,000-50,000 people. Each rally involves meticulous planning, from regular calls with party workers on the ground to providing them basic technical training. The BJP was among the first parties to understand the power of social media and it is no surprise that it has now become the first party to innovate with mass e-rallies. The BJP is also using these rallies to push out its report card of how the government has dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when there is growing criticism about its missteps in handling the health and economic crises. If the Opposition wants to put up a robust critique of the government’s performance, it would do well to launch its own mass communication efforts,” read the full editorial here.

Watery eyes: Mr Modi’s myopic vision

“Even Nepal, one of India’s closest allies, has now resorted to pricking India,” reads the editorial of The Telegraph. It further reads, “before the general elections of 2014, Narendra Modi — he was then the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime-ministerial candidate — had, if some reports are to be believed, thundered that China’s transgressions into Indian territory would be met with the proverbial ‘red eye’. It appears that two stints in power have led to a significant reduction in the potency of this menacing gaze. There are whispers that China’s People’s Liberation Army has made deep incursions into eastern Ladakh and mobilized troops along the entire stretch of the line of actual control. Such speculation has been augmented by a government that has got its signals crossed. Unverified reports of Indian and Chinese troops disengaging at three points in Ladakh were quickly followed by rumblings of China amassing troops — from Leh to Arunachal Pradesh. The Union defence minister has, predictably, roared; the army chief has insisted that the border is under control. These assertions, especially the latter, may calm nerves. What is inexplicable, however, is the silence of Mr Modi on the matter. The prime minister’s decision to stay mum — this is consistent with the government’s signature opacity on sensitive developments — has led to a swirl of rumours. The information vacuum does not augur well for a democracy. Mr Modi would do well to emulate the ethic of transparency that had endeared India’s first prime minister to his people,” read the full editorial here.


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