Apropos of the editorial “Shome’s Justice” (FE, July 22), the point you have raised—that it’s a good thing the finance minister has said that his advisor Parthasarathi Shome would head a forum where industry can come to discuss its tax problems every Wednesday—is indeed pertinent. Here it must be noted that earlier the finance ministry had constituted a committee under former CBDT chief N Rangachary to examine the issues of transfer pricing from the IT sector and some of these recommendations, such as on how to deal with R&D centres of MNCs, have already been notified. And as recently as on July 10, the CBDT even transferred SK Mishra, the joint secretary in charge of the foreign tax division, to give a strong signal to investors. But another point that can be, and should be raised is that why limit ourselves to discussions only in such tax matters. Why can’t the government come out with such a mechanism that forums are created to sort out most issues that plague overall government functioning?
Ashwin Shah, Ahmedabad
No more “Sir-ing”
Apropos of Shombit Sengupta’s column “Sir Propofol” (FE, July 21), to address a superior by his name is still an illusion in the Indian subcontinent and calling a superior or an elderly by ‘Sir’ is not always an appeasing symptom, as opined by Sengupta. Recently, in a Q&A session with professor Amartya Sen on the occasion of his book release, I addressed him as ‘Sir’. Calling him Amartya or Sen (who is 79 years old) would have been rather unparliamentary as per Indian customs and norms. However, office colleagues nowadays do address each other by name. Abolishing ‘Sir-ing’ will take at least a century in India, to enhance business productivity by 40%, as opined by the author.
Debabrata Sengupta, Howrah, West Bengal