Aspirations of Pensioners regarding National Budget for 2015-16-Bharat Pensioners Samaj
No BPS/SG/FM/014/1 Dated
Hon’ble Shri Arun Jaitley ji,
Union Minister of Finance, Govt. of India,
134 North Block, New Delhi – 110001
Subject: Aspirations of Pensioners regarding National Budget for 2015-16
With hearty seasons’ Greetings, Bharat Pensioners Samaj, the largest representative Federation of Pensioners’ in the country, wish to place before you, the following aspirations of Pensioners’ in respect of the ensuing Union Budget.
Sir, Pensioners financial problems largely arise because most of us are products of the low cost economy era in our Country when Salaries and hence the pension and savings were meagre compared to present levels. Now even surviving with the dwindling returns on the already meagre savings/Pension and galloping inflation has become a challenge. Moreover, most of us suffer with age related health problems and health care has become so costly that we can hardly afford it, more so as the Govt, health schemes for retirees are grossly inadequate with limited coverage area. These are two situations on which we have no control.
Therefore, to merely survive in the present high cost economy we have to ask for some financial concessions and we earnestly request you to please consider these favourably.
1. Provide Rs500000/-basic Income Tax exemption to Sr. Citizens: Bharat Pensioners Samaj submits that for & up to F.Y.2004-2005 Sr. Citizen were getting, concession in income tax payable (under Section 88B) to the tune of Rs. 20000/-, as compared to other citizens with similar taxable income. In 2005-2006 this was changed, basic exemption for citizens was raised to Rs 100000/-& that for Sr Citizens it was made 185000/- This resulted in actual Tax relief of Rs 12000/- instead of Rs 20000/-. Thereafter it has been progressively reduced to just Rs5000/- further hitting hard the poor pensioners, the standard deduction was withdrawn through finance bill 2006.
Sir, Right from its inception, the basic I. tax exemption is related to cost of living. Where as in comparison to the year 2004-05 cost of food items have gone up by more than 6 times & that of health care has gone up more than 10times. I. Tax exemption in terms of Tax payable for 60+ Pensioners has gone down. In view of the facts quoted Bharat Pensioners Samaj appeal to Govt. of India to provide Rs 500000/-(five lac) basic Income Tax exemption to 60+Sr. Citizens/Pensioners and to Rs 800000/- for 80+ very / Sr. Citizen and that the standard deduction be restored for salaried class.
2. PENSION TO BE NET OF INCOME TAX: Purchase value of pension gets reduced day by day due to unbearable inflation and high rise in food items and cost of medical facilities. Retired persons/Sr Citizens do not enjoy fully, Public Goods and Services provided by Government for citizens, due to immobility and many other factors. Their ability to pay Tax gets reduced from year to year after retirement due to, ever increasing expenditure on food & medicines. Their net worth at year end gets reduced considerably as compared to the beginning of the year. Inflation, for a pensioner is much more than any Tax. It erodes the major part of already inadequate pension.
To enable pensioners, at the fag end of their lives, to live honourably Y to cater for ever rising cost of living, they be spare from paying Income Tax. Keeping in view the recommendation of 5th CPC vide their Para 167.11 Pension upto 500000/-(5lac) per-annum, should therefore, be paid net of income tax.
3. Tax deduction at source [TDS]: It is a fact that Sr. Citizens are often put to lot of mental stress and confusion as they are required to approach often repeatedly Income Tax offices for refund of Tax deducted at source despite their furnishing 15 “H” Form to the concerned authorities/Banks who still deducts TDS through inadvertence and oversight. It is therefore, that Senior Citizens Community may be excluded from the purview of TAX Deduction at Source. Under such arrangement, the taxpaying Sr. Citizens would obviously include the interest amount in their taxable incomes.
4 Raise Deposit Insurance Credit Guarantee to Rs.5.00 lakhs in case of Sr. Citizens: The pro-visions of Deposit Insurance Credit Guarantee Corporation may be suitably amended as ceiling for Rs. 1.00 laks is, long overdue for enhancement. It is suggested that the ceiling be raised to Rs.5.00 Lakhs per account in case of Sr citizens. The mechanism and procedure layout is stretched to a period of 2 to 3 years for payment of insurance settlement of balance amount as eligible in respect of failed financial institutions. For Senior Citizens, such a period is mentally harassing. To save them from such eventualities, it is suggested to provide that the affected St. Citizens, Orphans, Destitute, Widow etc. Would be paid forth with fifty percent of the balance amount or insurance amount whichever is more without waiting for the procedures or formalities to be fulfilled. Such provisions would ensure due protection to Sr. Citizens and would save them from mental uneasiness and anxieties arising out of inconvenience and fear of saving being blocked in the concerned financial institutions.
Sir, we have placed before you in brief out major financial aspirations. Considering the increasing span of life and limited resources at the disposal of Senior. Citizens/Pensioners, we feel confident that you will positively consider to translate the above aspirations into reality.
Sir, it is observed that before the Budget you arrange meetings with different sections of society to hear their views. We shall be thankful if you would consider us similarly so that there would be meaningful interaction to understand one another with relevant perspectives. We ardently look forward to your communication.
With Blessings from Elderly Community and regards
Secretary General BPS