Budget gives no relief to elders

The Union Budget has not given any “extra relief” to senior citizens. As against the present tax rebate of Rs 20,000, the relief now given to senior citizens is a mere Rs 5,000 which is the tax payable on the general exemption of Rs 1 lakh and the higher exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh for them.

Even with an exemption limit of Rs 2 lakh, they would benefit only to the extent of Rs 15,000, which is still less than what they now enjoy. This seems to be grossly unfair.

The fears that had been engendered by the imminent withdrawal of tax exemptions and rebates pursuant to the Kelkar proposals have been dispelled to a large extent by the new provisions. The hopes of the senior citizens that they would receive additional benefits, for example through higher returns on their savings, have, however, been totally belied.

In fact, as the above figures clearly show, they would be losing the bulk of the advantage that they now enjoy. I seek the indulgence of The Tribune to raise this issue so that it can be appropriately addressed.

I.S. CHADHA, Former Ambassador and Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Chandigarh




The Union Budget has taken care of the low income group assessees. The middle class income groups too have gained. Scrapping standard deduction under Sections 88 and 88-L and raising the tax exemption limit to Rs 1 lakh, changing the tax rates for different income slabs are all steps in the right direction and making the tax structure friendly.

A deduction up to Rs 1 lakh in respect of savings before computing the taxable income has given much relief to the taxpayers. Edible oils, air-conditioners, tea, LPG and match boxes will cost less while cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco and gutkha are dearer so that the common man does not consume them. Cess on these items is apt.

More funds have been provided for primary education which is quite essential. The steep rise in BSE index is the result of the tax concessions granted to the people. Overall, the budget is safe, sound and friendly.

Prof ASHOK AGNIHOTRI, Head, Commerce Dept, SL Bawa DAV College, Batala


The Budget will help senior citizens. Last year, Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme was introduced with higher rate of interest for those above 60 years. And now comes the higher slab of tax-free annual income up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

However, for income-tax benefits, the age prescribed for a senior citizen is above 65 years. Why can’t it be reduced? The age yardstick for concessions to senior citizens provided by the railways is 60. It is 62 and 65 for women and men respectively in the Indian Airlines. The government should enforce a uniform age for senior citizens.

Air-Cdre LOKESH K. BATRA (retd), Noida


The Budget will give a boost to rural, industrial and infrastructural growth while promising a quantum growth in generating employment opportunities, nearly two crore in IT and textile sectors itself.

Finance Minister Chidambaram’s masterstroke is the recognition of various kinds of savings schemes by bringing in a simple uniform maximum rebate of up to Rs 1 lakh for all. Much would, however, depend upon early translation of the growth patterns envisioned, as the time for the UPA government is running fast.

The Opposition’s conduct during the presentation of the Budget, despite the Lok Sabha Speaker’s repeated appeals, is deplorable.



Under the existing provisions of Section 88 C, women below 65 years are entitled to a deduction of Rs 5,000 from income-tax payable by them. Similarly, senior citizens of 65 years or more are entitled to a deduction of Rs 20, 000 from income-tax payable by them.

In the Budget 2005, both these provisions would be raised to Rs 1,25,000 for women and Rs 1,50,000 for senior citizens. This implies that women will get tax benefit of Rs 2,500 and senior citizens Rs 5,000 at the lowest tax slab of 10 per cent. Consequently, women will lose Rs 2,500 and senior citizens Rs 15,000 as compared to the benefit available to them now.

Here is a proper and equitable method. Instead of raising the basic exemption limit, women and senior citizens should be given deduction of Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively from the total income so that they get the benefit at the highest rate of tax they pay as in the case of deduction of Rs 1 lakh in the case of savings.

M.L. GARG, Advocate, Chandigarh

A super karmayogi

The hero of A.J. Philip’s middle “Feeling is seeing” (Feb 28) transcends the concept of a karmayogi enunciated in the Bhagwad Gita. Despite being visually impaired, the hero has not let this shortcoming come in the way of his chosen profession which he performs with devotion and dedication.

During the performance of his job, he is not distracted by specially prepared snacks for him. He had full commitment to his duty and he enjoyed doing what he did and sought pleasure in perfection. To top it, he dedicated the final outcome of his actions at the feet of the Lord as a token of thanksgiving for being chosen for accomplishing the fruit of his job in perfect form.

The hero has not let his disability come in the way of his profession. He is a thorough professional in a field where even the most physically fit persons find it hard to keep up with the intricate details of the arduous task of assembly process of a PC.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the blessed personality. The hero is not simply a karmayogi, but a super karmayogi. He has not let his impairment keep him down. A rare example of a fighting spirit against heavy odds.

Dr B.R. SOOD, Professor & Head (ECE), SBBS Inst. of Engg & Tech, Padhiana (Jalandhar)


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