Let’s build a strong economy
The move to introduce VAT in the UAE is a very intelligent one (“Letters to the Editor: VAT’s benefits will come back to you”, Gulf News, December 28). The estimated revenue of Dh10 to Dh12 billion will go a long way in strengthening the country’s economy. The sharp decline in the price of oil has left the GCC with no option other than to look at a taxation system, and a five per cent tax rate is fair and moderate. While the developed world has already embarked on the taxation model, the need to find resources for government spending in the UAE cannot be disregarded anymore. Also, the choice of VAT is an indirect method of taxation rather than a direct taxation of say, corporations, and is also a welcome step.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been recommending fiscal consolidation in GCC countries through diversification of government revenues and reduction in government subsidies. The UAE government is spending billions of dirhams on infrastructure development like roads and bridges, as well as on public transport systems like the Metro, and has to source funds for the country’s development. It is a good sign that the UAE has exempted 100 food items, education and healthcare from VAT, so that it will not have too much of an impact on the common man. It is the duty of every resident to pay back to the country a certain percentage of what we have been enjoying absolutely free for so many years. I personally welcome this move, and hope that together, we can help build a strong economy and nation.
From Mr Eappen Elias
If my income was in line with VAT and the price hikes, I would have no problem at all with it. I love the UAE and toil a lot for its development in my capacity, with my fellow countrymen. But life is becoming so expensive. So much to do to cope with it.
From Mr Jahangir Kabir Bappi
The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology’s ‘technical regulations’ will improve the overall procurement of all fruits and vegetables in the country (“Abu Dhabi study to determine pesticide residue levels in food”, Gulf News, December 28). Exporting groups should strictly support and follow these government initiatives and avoid any sort of lateral methods. The science of pesticide-free gardening for organic vegetables could be encouraged at farms and villas. The authorities could also encourage the usage of bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides and bio-soil enriched products for a new generation of farming. Healthier and environmentally safe products for different crop stages are available in the market. Vegetable growers should use bio-fertilisers and develop a composting culture that encourages organic farming, thereby avoiding using the chemicals. The authorities could promote the production of these fertilisers as key ingredients in organic farming. Pesticides are used for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables during their harvesting and production. Naturally, consumers are greatly concerned. We would appreciate an awareness campaign through the media on how to remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables and avoid their consumption.
From Mr M. K. Gunaseelan
Long overdue bill
The Lok Sabha in India has passed the controversial bill that criminalises triple talaq, with three years of imprisonment for Muslim husbands who demand instant divorce (“Triple talaq is a criminal act in India now”, Gulf News, December 28). As a Muslim, and a woman, I commend the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill and think anyone who stands against this ruling has the facts wrong. Many Muslims I know believe that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has schemed to push the bill aggressively, in order to create strife among Muslims, a sense of instability among the community and as a distraction from other issues. Even if that were so, the question remains - why are we so reluctant to do away with this ridiculous, grossly misguided practice of triple talaq? It is definitely not an Islamic practice, and has been banned in many other Muslim majority countries. I applaud India for taking this step, and helping thousands of women stand for their rights. I only wish the Muslim community in India had led this charge.
From Ms Sophie Vita
The people’s hero
The masses in Tamil Nadu, India, adore actor and superstar Rajinikanth. He is highly revered. He is expected to make an announcement regarding a possible entry into politics. I think he would have a bright future there due to his integrity, concern for the common man and his desire to serve the people. We need talented professionals like him in politics, who are selfless and care for the common folk. I wish him success. If I were living in Tamil Nadu, I would certainly vote for him, even if I have to stand in a queue for the entire day.
From Mr Rajendra Aneja
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