Pensioners' body Bharatiya Pensioners Manch has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt pension from income tax to provide relief to the senior citizens in the country. In a letter shot off to the prime minister on August 25 this year, the body argued that if the pensions of the Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies are not taxable, then why does the government levy income tax on the pension of retired employees.
"Every retired person is paid pension as a superannuation fund for his/her livelihood on account of serving the nation for so many years.
"Now, the question is raised why the income tax is levied on pension (of retired employees). This is not an income for any service or work.
If MPs and MLAs pension is not taxable, why our pension is taxed?" the body stated in the letter.
The body in its first all-India conference held at Shirdi (Maharashtra) on July 23, 2018 has resolved that pension should be exempted from income tax. Since then, this issue is continuously being raised by this organisation with the finance minister, but there is no response from the ministry, it stated.
In the letter to the PM, the body added, "Bharatiya Pensioners Manch urges upon you to kindly intervene into the matter and direct the Ministry of Finance to consider this long pending genuine demand of pensioners. An early and immediate action with a line of reply to this organisation will be highly appreciated."
The body also stated that it wrote to the Minister of Finance on the issue on August 23, 2018, on December 14, 2018 and on February 25, 2021.
Referring to their earlier letters written to the Minister of Finance, the body said, "We are sorry to say that nothing has been done so far in this regard."
The body also referred to an apex court order where the Supreme Court had held that pension is valuable right vested in a government servant and that the right to receive pension is a property under Article 31 of the Constitution.
If it is denied to an employee, a writ of mandamus could be issued to the state to properly consider the claim of the pensioner for payment of pension according to law, it added referring to the SC ruling.