destination india

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

the chi factor

We have nicknamed one of our most popular actors as ‘Chi’. We have in our midst a renowned politician-cum-reporter who goes by the nickname of ‘Cho’. Our favorite drink is ‘cha’-i and chachi is one of our most beloved addresses – it denotes all the ladies, who are more aged than the person who is addressing. Add to this the fact that chow is one of the most relished dish of today’s youngsters, the fact that cha-cha was once upon a time a form of dance and you get a world of ‘Chi’-s and cheese burgers, not to forget the cheese pakoras!

So we had our FM, also a ‘Chi’ dispensing largesse to all and sundry on the budget day. He declared attractive tax cuts to benefit the honest tax-payer. Possessing a mobile phone does no mean that you now fall in the one-by-six tax bracket and hence it is not mandatory to file a tax return. Someone, it appears, does have some common sense after all – bringing it within the gambit of mandatory filing of returns was a silly idea anyway!

The FM also assured about not increasing the price of cooking gas. We all know that such increases are intentionally postponed to a later date so that the good feeling of a good budget can linger for some time. It invariably amounts to giving a false sense of goodness that is short lived.

Reduction of duties on several important items would imply cheaper final products – like clothes, automobiles, CTVs. Obviously, those in such business will be major gainers apart from the consumers. Probably the culture of ‘buy-one-and-get-one- free’ will be extended – for example, buy a CTV and get a nylon jersey free. Or – buy a 10-lakh car and get a CTV free. There could be really attractive combinations to bring the contents of your wallet into other’s pockets.

The Defense boys wanted more funds, the tourism sector wanted more concessions, the Space team wanted to go to the Moon – so what did the FM do? He cut his imaginary rupee into minuscule proportions and distributes the pieces, leaving the problem of getting the actual rupee to someone else.

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