Your cover story, which addresses the 'power for all by 2019' issue (The Weak Link, October 25), rightly says that rhetoric will have to give way to reality and targets to execution. It is truly a matter of great shame that even 68 years after Independence, our country, the world's third-largest producer and consumer of power, can't supply 24x7 power. In the past, successive governments have failed to deliver on this emotive issue. The Narendra Modi-led government can't simply rest on its laurels. For all its achievements, this is one issue for which the voters will not pardon the government. So, the government needs to focus on fixing an enormously inefficient and bankrupt power distribution system that has accumulated whopping losses of over Rs 3.19 lakh crore. Once this is taken care of, and it will take quite an effort on the part of the government to fix it, it could very well be a smooth ride ahead. It is time for action. - Kritika Sharma, Gurgaon
Kudos to SMEs
This refers to the interesting profiles of the 16 winners who made it to your sixth annual Best SMEs Survey list (October 11). They all deserved to be included due to their overall performance and tenacity to rise in spite of tough competition and survival challenges amidst overall slowing down of foreign exports markets. Thumbs up to the BT team and the five-member jury for undergoing a strenuous exercise of screening, analysing and evaluating a huge mass of data to bring out a scintillating issue! As rightly stated in the editorial, SMEs really are the backbone of our economy and when they excel, they are definitely a valuable asset since they create jobs for India's growing workforce. SMEs will drive the Indian economy. - JS Broca, New Delhi
Your cover story (The Black Hole, October 11) uncovered the extent of the black money problem in India. It was investigative journalism of the highest order. The issues related to black money generation were systematically dealt with in great detail to understand the gravity of the situation. It is a clear case of fence eating not only the crop, but also extending its territories, diabolically derailing economic activities in the country and stalling the growth engine. It has become a systemic malaise as stringent responses were not initiated through policy formulations since Independence. The economy is unbearably suffering from the double whammy of black money and illicit currency along with terrorism and drug trafficking by unscrupulous citizens.
The hurriedly promulgated act to curb black money has buried the chances of retrieving lost money from foreign banks. It has porous clauses and thrown up more questions than answers. The FM should have given substantial opportunities for voluntary disclosure, incorporating broad incentives primarily as a prelude to the present legislation instead of reserving it for the 2016/17 budget. Simplification of tax structure, streamlined sources of taxation, taxpayer-friendly procedures, liberal tax holidays, immediate rectification of tax returns, reformed tax rates and transparent fiscal channels will cohesively broaden the tax net. It will largely fill the coffers of the government and increasingly curtail both tax avoidance and tax evasion. Our systems must be redefined to lure the money earners to proactively embrace the practice of tax payment. - B.Rajasekaran, Bangalore
I was simply inspired by your cover story (The Most Powerful Women in Business, September 27). I am often called a feminist for taking a stand at my workplace, home, and among friends. Sometimes I have to work twice as hard to get the same returns as my male counterparts, and despite the normal daily hurdles that one faces, I face more for being a woman. I say that if feminism helps me get a little closer to my dream, in what is inevitably a man's world, then I am happy being a feminist. I am quite ambitious and this package put together by you just made my day. - Aditi Bhattacharjee, Nagpur