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M A I L B A G

Union Budget wonít help the poor

Experts are upbeat on removing the sectoral caps for tax savings for individuals in the Union Budget. However, the fact that these proposals are tilted heavily in favour of the upper income groups is being overlooked.

For instance, an individual with income of Rs 1, 50,000 will be able to save Rs 5,000 of income-tax by investing Rs 50,000 in savings schemes. The benefit for those having income of say, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh with similar investment will be Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 respectively. As per the existing norms, the tax benefit to lower income groups was 20 per cent of savings as against 15 per cent to upper income groups. This was quite fair as the upper income groups have the capacity to save more.

Though the proposed tax slabs are welcome, they are unfair to the fair sex. The threshold income of Rs 1.25 lakh fixed for working ladies will bring them a tax benefit of only Rs 2,500 as against Rs 5,000 benefit enjoyed by them so far. The Finance Minister could have kept the threshold level for ladies at par with senior citizens at Rs 1.50 lakh to retain the benefit.

Col G.S. GHARJAKHIA (retd), Karnal

 

 

II

In the past, senior citizens were allowed Rs 20,000 as income-tax rebate, implying that a person having a taxable income of Rs 1,53,000 annually excluding standard deduction of Rs 30,000 was exempted from any income-tax liability. Besides, they were entitled concession of Rs 12, 000 under Section 80L.

In the new budget proposals, the Union Finance Minister has raised the exemption limit to Rs 1. 5 lakh for senior citizens but simultaneously snatched the concession of standard deduction and tax rebate of Rs 30,000 and Rs 20,000 respectively. Consequently, the elders who were not required to pay any income-tax up to Rs 1,95, 000 previously, will now have to pay Rs 9,000 as income tax under the new scheme i.e. additional liability of Rs 750 every month.

This will hit the senior citizens very badly as they are facing great financial hardship and are in the evening of their life. The Finance Minister should review the case of senior citizens compassionately and do justice. If it cannot provide further relief, the government should restore status quo ante so that they may not have to bear the burden of any tax.

AMRIT DHINGRA, President, Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Chandigarh

Human rights courts

In Punjab, cases of violation of human rights are increasing day by day. As a result, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission members adjourn the cases to more than a month. This leads to delay in justice. Complaints should be disposed of with speed to check violation of human rights.

For speedy trial of offences in this regard, Human Rights Courts need to be set up in all districts. While general complaints can be disbursed in the districts, sensitive cases can go to PSHRC for consideration. The Punjab Government should initiate steps for the good of the people.

N.M. HANSI, Ludhiana

Neglected town

Bhawarna is an ancient town in Palampur division of Himachal Pradesh. Encroachments have come up everywhere in the market area. The authorities do not seem to be bothered about them. The main problem is that the authorities are unable to execute their plan of constructing urinals and toilets in the market for the general public as there is hardly any space left in the market due to the encroachments. The authorities should be razed to the ground to ensure smooth traffic flow.

NITYANAND SHARMA, Bhawarna (HP)

Poor facilities

I had a bitter experience during a recent visit to the Sainik Rest House at Chamba. It is very badly maintained. Rooms are dirty, geyser and toilet flush donít work and rain water got accumulated everywhere. I request the Deputy Director of Sainik Rest House and the district authorities concerned to look into this problem. This is, certainly, not the way to treat our dedicated jawans.

SUBER SINGH PARIHAR, Hamirpur

Re-evaluation of scripts

In the B.Sc examination of Himachal Pradesh University, there are three papers in each subject. But in the detailed marks card, the total of three papers is shown and not marks scored in each paper. As a result, while applying for revaluation, the candidates do not know in which particular paper they got marks below their expectations.

As the revaluation fee for each paper is Rs 50, one has to pay Rs 150 for three papers. The candidates are forced to pay revaluation fee even for those papers in which they obtain marks as expected. They have to dole out hefty amount for these papers as well. The university should show in the result cards marks scored paper-wise, and not the total of marks subject-wise. This will help candidates save money.

SHOBHA, Bijhari (HP)

Save Sanskrit College

Reports that the Sanskrit College of Delhi is in the process of closure due to shortage of funds are disturbing. The government should have arranged the necessary funds to prevent its closure.

The Sanskrit College has precious literature on the Vedas, Shasatras and other sacred books. It has a very good library and has been propagating the cause of Sanskrit for many years. I appeal to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene and save the college from closure.

Dr MAN MOHAN LAL KAUSHAL, Convener, Punjab Brahmin International, Kharar (Ropar)


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