Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Jun 2017 12:45:10


THE unusual gift of a bicycle to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi by his Dutch counterpart Mr. Mark Rutte during his recent visit to the Hague should be taken as a symbolic gesture with a hidden message of promoting cycling culture in India. Even though the economy of the Netherlands is in good shape and people can easily afford cars,  the people there simply love bicycles. No wonder, the country has more bicycles than its population. Even the Dutch Prime Minister usually cycles to work. On the contrary, in India,  every city is flooded with vehicles, which has led to an alarming rise in air pollution. Besides harming the health of the people, an ever increasing number of private vehicles is inflating country’s oil import bill. While the Government is laying stress on popularising use of renewable sources of energy like solar and wind power, there is also need to reduce over dependence on vehicles for intracity commuting.  Cycling will not only help in improving the health of the people, but will also take load off city roads to a great extent, solving the problem of parking for ever.


THE opposition parties’ decision to boycott the function for launching of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), to be held in the Central Hall of Parliament on June 30, is uncalled for, and to say the least, is childish. What and why are they boycotting? There is no plausible justification for such a move. When both Houses of Parliament and majority of State Assemblies have passed their own legislations in tandem with the Central Government in this regard, to say that the mood in the Opposition is to boycott the function is unbecoming of a responsible Opposition. Approval by legislatures of the legislation for introduction of one of the biggest tax reforms tantamounts to approval by the whole country if legislative Houses are supposed to represent the entire nation. Hence, the boycott by the Opposition is a misplaced move. It does not suit the Opposition to boycott the function just for opposing the Government. In fact such economic measure of far-reaching significance for the country should have been welcomed by the entire political community.