Budget harsh on senior citizens

The Union Finance Minister has been harsh on senior citizens in his taxation proposals, Senior citizens are in the evening of their life and so deserve better treatment. The benefit of savings of Rs 1 lakh is of no use to them. They cannot save anything. On the other hand, they have to spend from their savings, if any.

Tax exemption of Rs 20, 000 under Section 88 B should continue. They won’t object if the exemption limit of Rs 1lakh (instead of Rs 1.50 lakh) is made applicable to them as is admissible to other tax-prayers.

Exclusive benefit already given to senior citizens should not be withdrawn. Some other benefit, if possible, may be added.

G.R. KALRA, Chandigarh




No doubt, a new section has been proposed under which income up to Rs 1 lakh will be exempted provided the amount is deposited in specified schemes. However, as all these schemes are long-term, senior citizens cannot afford to invest in them.

I understand that the proposed new section for investment in these specified schemes will attract income-tax on maturity. If so, no senior citizen would even think of such investment. In all fairness, the tax exemption limit for senior citizens should be raised to Rs 2 lakh.



Senior citizens are hit very hard. The IT exemption level should be raised to Rs 2.25 lakh. This will bring it at par to the present allowed IT rebate for them under Section 88 B. There should be no TDS on bank and post office deposit interests if an individual submits Form 15H to the effect that his total income is less than the allowed taxable limit.

All Central government employees and pensioners including defence personnel draw their pay/ pension through bank. No one keeps black money in banks. The logic to impose banking transaction tax on withdrawal of Rs 10, 000 and above in one day is irrational. It should be withdrawn.

Suitable measures should be introduced to tax the income of lawyers who should be brought under the service tax net.



A few months back, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had promised to improve the lot senior citizens. A postal scheme for them was also announced. But the Budget indicates that the Centre’s concern for senior citizens was just a lip-sympathy.

Senior citizens deserve IT exemption at least up to Rs 2 lakh. If this is not possible, they should be allowed to continue with the benefits of 2004-05.

H.S. NARANG, Ropar


Currently, a senior citizen pensioner is not liable to pay income-tax on his annual income of Rs 18,500. However, hereafter, he will have to shell out Rs 7,140 as tax on the same income. Would the Union Finance Minister care to amend this injustice?

GURUDAS, Dehra Dun

Checking pension scams

The fake pension scam to the tune of Rs 1.5 crore in the Northern Railway unearthed by CBI is shocking (Feb 23). There is lack of a foolproof system in issuing pension payment orders (PPOs) by railway authorities and making pension payments to the pensioners by the bank. The system of issuing PPOs and making pension payment by the banks should be revamped.

The Accountant General conducts the audit of banks concerning pension payments. But the banks and the AG have failed to detect the bogus pensioners during pre-audit and post-audit. Proper checking of annual personal appearance along with life certificates and no employment after retirement certificates with due attestation by gazetted officers will help detect pension fraud.

The delegation of authority for issuance of PPOs may be stopped and the signature of the issuing PPO authority should be circulated to the concerned pension payment bank branches. Computerisation of pensions is a pressing need. 

Dr U.S. MALIK, Joint Director (Treasuries & Accounts), Haryana, Chandigarh


Unjust decision

The Punjab Government’s decision to cancel the holiday for Shiva Ratri was unjust and unfair. There was widespread resentment in Punjab recently when the Gujarat Government peremptorily cancelled the holiday for Guru Purab. Governments should not play with the religious sentiments of the people.

I am not in favour of unnecessary holidays. But then, holidays for festivals like Shiva Ratri help as occasional gaps when we think and meditate on the ideals and values of our saints, rishis and great men.

K.K. PURI, Advocate, Gurdaspur

Threats from China

India has reason to be concerned about the increasing military strength of China. Since the Communist takeover, China has not respected national sovereignty.  It has dominated East Turkistan, Tibet and aims hundreds of military missiles at Taiwan. These missiles are capable of reaching other countries.

China does not respect religious diversity. There are at least 90 Buddhist deaths by torture by Chinese officials in the last 15 years. The increasing sale of military equipment to China by Europe is a dangerous sign.  China is not like the United States. I know, the world criticises the US for being a world policeman, but would you prefer a Chinese policeman?



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |