ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Tragedy of Bridge Management in West Bengal

Recurrent bridge collapses in West Bengal point out to the lack of coordinated institutional arrangements in the governance of bridge infrastructures in the state. Accountability in designing and construction, and supervision and maintenance, which strengthen different tiers of bridge governance system, are missing. Given the dearth of skilled workforce and the physical infrastructure for supervision, bridge maintenance is reduced to patchworks of painting railings and girders, without persistent evaluation of structural health and resultant repair or rehabilitation of infrastructure.

Value Added Tax Scams and Introduction of the Goods and Services Tax

In the postcolonial era, tax reforms in many developing/emerging economies resorted to indirect taxes under the presumptions of broadening the tax base and achieving horizontal equity. But, leakage in the form of evasion had challenged the attainment of these objectives, and continues doing so even after half a century of constant churning by tax architects to arrive at an optimum solution. The ease of evasion is indicative of the gap in the “lab to land” transfer of technique. From a theoretical standpoint, the goods and services tax, based on the principles of value added tax, can potentially address much of the malaise afflicting VAT in a federal polity, and may also offer the desired bridge for an informal economy to move towards the realm of formalisation in the long run.

VAT: A Closer Look

In an irreverant look at VAT, the darling of tax pundits, the author questions the supposed virtues of the tax-neutrality, avoidance of cascading and zero-rating of exports - and wonders whether more genuine tax reforms should not be considered in preference to VAT.
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