LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (17/02/2021)

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Let There Be Just One Farm Law

I think three farm laws are way too much. What is needed is just one farm law to change the lives of farmers: tax the rich farmers and distribute the tax collected among the poor and marginal farmers. Farm laws do not increase the holdings of poor and marginalised farmers who   account for more than 80 per cent of all farmers in the country holding less than 2 acres each. These poor farmers derive very little benefit from MSP as they have very small holdings, consume most of their produce and have very little left over to sell. They cannot afford to purchase subsidised fertilisers. All subsidies benefit the rich farmers who get richer. Hence it is necessary to put money in the hands of poor farmers so that they can purchase fertilisers and buy better seeds and then derive full benefits of the subsidies. Hence the government must enact just one farm law taxing the rich farmers in the country.  So why are the rich farmers not taxed like all other people under the income-tax laws? Simply because the people who matter are not interested in taxing the rich farmers. And they are not interested because many of them, cutting across the entire political spectrum, are farmers or pseudo-farmers who reap the benefits of income-tax exemption available to farmers.

ROBERT CASTELLINO, CALANGUTE

Unjustified Hike In Court Fees

THE Court Fees (Goa Amendment) Act 2020 was passed by the state legislative assembly during the brief session held in July 2020. It was immediately assented to by the Governor on August 12, 2020, and was soon notified in the (extraordinary no2) official gazette of government of Goa on August 17, 2020, raising various court fees very steeply. The steep hike in the court fees is absolutely unwarranted. The exorbitant rise in the fees kicked in when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak. This was the time when all courts in the state did not conduct any physical hearings and the entire judicial system was at a standstill except for matters of urgency, which were attended to through video-conferencing.  The fee for an ‘application’ moved in the district court or the lower civil and criminal courts has been raised steeply from Rs 2 to Rs 20, thereby increasing the cost ten times. In cases of bail bonds and forms for surety, there has been a rise from Rs 2 to Rs 50, which is a hike of 25 times. Besides, table of rates of  ad valorem fees fixed according to the value of institution of suits in various courts have almost been doubled, making matrimonial petitions filed quite frequently these days a very expensive affair for the common people. The state government must roll back the hike in the court fees.

RUI FERREIRA, PANAJI

Floor Bonhomie Is Heartwarming

IN politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, there are only permanent interests. Opposition leaders who have been going hammer and tongs at a government may suddenly soften their stand; it has happened on umpteen occasions in India and elsewhere. Difference of opinion in politics is not a cause for withdrawing from a friend. Most political leaders of the country have friends across party lines. Respect, understanding and appreciation form the bedrocks of good politics. When matters between parties go out of control, friendship is the glue that holds sanity and sobriety together. The exemplary camaraderie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the recently retired leader of the Opposition in the upper House Ghulam Nabi Azad is heartwarming.  In politics what matters is that is not said.  Both Modi and Azad struggled for words while commending each other.  The two seasoned politicians rightly seem to regard politics as a level-playing ground. Azad is known for his affable nature and efficient conduct. He was the man Friday of Congress president Sonia Gandhi till he fell out of favour with her. Not that the 71-year-old leader would mind. He has enough admirers, and earned sufficient goodwill, all over. Cynics and critics, who have cried foul at the “emotional drama” of Modi and Azad, are entitled to their views but Modi and Azad are qualified to express their sentiments. Emotionally fragile leaders are not weaklings to an institution; they are the ones who know inside out of the institution they serve.  Mature politicians make politics solid and steady. Modi and Azad are two such politicians.

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA