Modi’s taxing method may not work
Addressing a distinguished gathering at India Today’s Conclave, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi preened with pardonable pride; he said that he had made the rich denizens of Ahmedabad pay their property tax dues not by merely naming and, thereby, shaming them, but by making a song and dance of their unbecoming conduct.
Employees of the tax collections department, bedecked in resplendent costumes, danced to the drumbeats outside the defaulters’ houses and brought to the attention of the entire neighbourhood how derelict they were in discharge of their civic duties. Unable to withstand the dubious publicity, the house owners reportedly rushed to the nearest counter to clear up their dues!
One doesn’t know whether Modi took a cue from Kings and Caliphs of yore who used to shame criminals by painting them in black and taking them round the town in donkeys. ‘Naming and shaming’ can indeed be effective in setting the governmental cash registers ringing happily where the dues are accurately quantified, as is the case with property taxes. And for this reason, the Ahmedabad experience is worth emulating across the country. Harried banks and financial institutions too can give it a try, though one suspects that it might not work for two reasons.
The Delhi Police is likely to conduct more raids in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal. Teams of the Delhi Police's special cell have been sent to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Kolkata to conduct searches and track the money trail in the IPL spot-fixing case.
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