GST Impact On Ragpickers
RECYCLABLE plastic, which had been taxed 5.5 per cent before, has now been bracketed in the 18 per cent GST. As a result, plastic recyclers have drastically slashed the price of waste plastic, as for example the price of empty milk packets has suffered a 50 per cent reduction. This has sharply reduced the income of poor ragpickers. It can have an adverse effect on the rate of recycling and thus on the environment. We must not forget that it is mainly because of more than four million of our brothers and sisters who are engaged in ragpicking, India has achieved the highest PET (polyethylene terephthalate) recycling rates (90 per cent) in the world! Recycling is undoubtedly the best way to manage waste plastic menace. So recyclable plastic needs to be put in five per cent GST category to protect poor ragpickers and our environment as well. Moreover, adult ragpickers should be made stakeholders in garbage recycling.
SUJIT DE, KOLKATA
Trump, Kim Give Peace A Chance
THERE are no two views that the diplomacy pursued by US President Donald Trump is working. It was under his initiative that the Korean peninsula was given an opportunity to heave a sigh of relief, with the meeting of North Korean President Kim Jong-Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in. They have pledged to make efforts to keep lasting peace in the region. And it looked like a fairy tale ride when Kim Jong-Un, who till almost a few months back was all too engrossed in testing his nuclear missiles uninterruptedly, Suddenly responded for peace negotiations and meeting Trump in Singapore. On Tuesday morning at the Singapore summit a new chapter was written heralding that not everything is lost and that there is ample scope for shedding individual ego in a bid to aim for world peace. The two leaders exchanged greetings and assured that they will work for lasting peace. While North Korea expressed willingness to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, America assured of lifting sanctions against that country, though of course no concrete measures were listed or timeframe was drawn. There have been demands for conferring Nobel Peace Prize on Trump and he is also certain to succeed for a second term as the US President.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Encroachment On Vasco Footpath
THE footpath near a location where once stood the ticket counter of the Kadamba shuttle bus service at the Vasco fish market, has been encroached upon by fruit vendors limiting the space for pedestrians to walk. The pedestrians are forced to crowd the road. Moreover, the haphazard parking of two-wheelers in the area is also causing traffic congestion. The vendors and vehicle owners pay utmost disregard to the rule of law. Will the concerned authorities crack down on the fruit vendors who have ‘gobbled up’ the footpath?
SAMIR KANOJI, VASCO