Asia

Disabled veterans stunned with huge tax deductions in pensions despite stay by Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The raging controversy over the governments decision to tax disability pension of soldiers has reared its head once again, with many disabled veterans stunned to receive only token sums as pension credited to their bank accounts for the month of February.
Veterans said the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) had issued a circular on February 20 for “necessary action” on the June 2019 order by the finance ministry/Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) that held disability pension of all military personnel would now be taxed unless they had been forced or “invalidated” out of service prematurely due to injuries.
“This amounted to asking various banks to deduct income tax with arrears from disability pensions despite the Supreme Court ordering a `status quo on the matter till it hears it. Consequently, the State Bank of India has deducted huge retrospective TDS (tax deducted at source) from the pensions of disabled veterans…many have got only Rs 100 as pension for February,” said a veteran, who did not want to be identified.
Added the famous “blade-runner” Major D P Singh (retd), “I am not personally affected since I was invalidated out as a battle casualty. But its so painful to see my fellow-soldiers who gave their youth to the nation, including warriors like Lt-Gen Vijay Oberoi and Maj Gen Ian Cardozo who lost their limbs but continued in service, to be treated like this in their old age. The nation should be indebted to them.”
While the defence establishment refused to comment on the issue because it was “sub-judice”, sources said senior defence ministry and Army officers had contacted the SBI over the weekend in a bid to resolve the isRead More – Source

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