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Letters: Custom vs ease

Use of simple words for official work has remained a dream

Business Standard 

Custom vs ease

The Chatterbox item, “A Hindi-to-English app for UP ministers” (June 11), says the Hindi used for official work is so pedantic that several ministers find it difficult to comprehend press statements, etc.  This brings to mind an incident that occurred decades ago.

When U N Dhebar was the Congress president, he happened to be at the Allahabad railway station on a visit to the city. He noticed a board that read “Prativad pusthak prasnalay mein milegi.” Dhebar could not understand it; local leaders who were with him also could not help. A ticket collector, who was around, was called. He told them that the board meant, “The complaints book is available in the enquiry office.” Dhebar made critical comments about the use of such Hindi and said that simple words should be used. That has remained a dream.

Recently, Home Minister Rajnath Singh emphasised the same point  as Dhebar. The problem is that official Hindi is highly Sanskritised. Of course, words used for official documents in any language cannot be simple like

V Krushnamachari, Mumbai

Haste can cause mayhem

The finance ministry’s resolve to implement the goods and services (GST) from July 1, rejecting the demand from some segments of trade, industries and most recently, the aviation sector, to defer it till September is myopic. It ignores ground realities about the level of preparedness for such a switch. 

Experts have justifiably raised a red flag over the challenges faced by the service sector, particularly those with offices spread across India, which are now required to obtain separate registration, based on the state where they operate. Barely 15 days are left for the roll-out, but the information technology (IT) system and the Network are no longer accepting new registrations; the window is open only for migration.

Suvidha Providers, too, have expressed their inability to perform the assigned responsibilities due to technical and other reasons. Some of the rules are yet to be finalised. 

There is nothing sacrosanct about enforcing the from July 1 — the is required to come into force only before September 17. The sky will not fall if the inauguration is put off till September 1. Undue haste can lead to mayhem, which could otherwise be avoided.

The Council’s decision to enhance the composition level from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh with varied rates of taxes should provide some relief to small enterprises. What has not been debated is the effect of withdrawal of the existing exemption limit without input credit on small-scale manufacturers up to Rs 1.5 crore and instead limiting it to Rs 20 lakh. Also, they need to adopt IT-based business processes compatible with the GSTN. This is bound to increase their compliance cost and reduce their competitiveness.

S K Choudhury, Bengaluru

Time is ripe

The editorial, “Time for a reshuffle” (June 13), hits the nail on the head. At present, there is no priority higher than a for the Prime Minister. If he does not act now, it would be too late and might cost him the general elections in 2019.

That the economy is stagnating and the situation in is not improving could be because one minister is looking after two important portfolios. Minimising teething troubles in the implementation of the goods and services is a full-time job in itself. This apart, decisions on generic medicines and cattle trading seem to have been arbitrary, resulting in the government having to do a lot of damage control. 

The farmers’ agitation has been handled poorly. Public confidence in the government and, therefore, support is reaching the tipping point. Unless the PM acts briskly, the next year could be a question mark for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

N Subrahmanyam, Hyderabad

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