Online Grocery: Will It Attract Crowds for Long?
This refers to your cover story on grocery wars (The Perishable Business, January 31). It is a very interesting read. No doubt, there is a lot of hype around online grocery shopping in India. But will it attract huge crowds for a long time? Will it face the same fate as dotcoms some years ago? For me, the hype won't last long, because, in the long run, certainly there is no fun of shopping from home. In a broader sense, I will say online grocery shopping is boring, it creates complexity in your lifestyle, it's quite expensive and also not competitive. In fact, if I have access to good consumer markets, what's the need for going online shopping? Let's wait and watch. Who knows, it may survive for a long period! - B.S. Acharya, Berhampur
Taking India to the Orbit of Developed Nations
This refers to Arvind Subramanian's interview (Jan 31). It was a dynamic conversation on different aspects of the Indian economy. The GST is deeply caught in political crossfire between the BJP and the Congress. It's time political parties evolved a consensus on this crucial reform initiative. The exclusion of alcohol and real estate from the GST will create formidable challenges of corruption and tax evasion instead of providing opportunities for fiscal revenues to the states. The NPAs of the public sector banks are crippling their domestic investment substantially. The CBDT proposal for curtailing tax exemptions for R&D must be reversed to enable promotion of indigenous products and reduction of import bill. Cooperation between the CEA and the RBI governor is functionally imperative. There should be healthy debates for revisiting policy and monetary measures. And the Centre should facilitate de jure independence to these authorities to vault India to the orbit of developed nations. - B. Rajasekaran, Bangalore
Pocketing a Whopping Rs 14,000-cr Cess Kitty
This refers to your story about the utilisation of funds collected by the government under various cesses (Cess Pool Mystery, Jan 31). Instead of making sincere efforts to discharge its duties to make a Swachch Bharat, the government has imposed Swachch Bharat cess since last November 15 on taxable services, which may bring in Rs 3,700 crore to its kitty by the end of the current financial year. In addition to this, according to estimates, the government is likely to pocket around Rs 10,000 crore through the cess in 2016/17. If the government is really interested in welfare of people at large, it must not add direct or indirect financial burden on the citizens through new and modified taxes. - Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi
Kudos for an Excellent Edition
This refers to your 24th Anniversary Issue (Jan 17). I extend my sincere compliments for weaving together an excellent edition. The mix of writers and topics selected was very apt, considering the current and future needs of India. The article by Jack Hidary on smart cities was the best. He has nicely pointed out what it takes to make a smart city. India has some way to go to make its cities smart! - Manoj Kabre, On e-mail