BJP's 'pseudo-nationalism' exposed: Cong on disability pension taxation
New Delhi, Jun 26: The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP government of "betraying" the armed forces by taxing the disability pension of soldiers and alleged that the ruling party's "pseudo-nationalism" stands exposed.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the Finance Ministry in a circular on June 24 said it has decided to tax Armed forces personnel who get 'disability pension' on 'account of injuries suffered in the course of service' at the time of their superannuation or premature retirement.
During the course of arduous service to the nation, Armed forces personnel receive injuries resulting into disability, he said, adding taxing them is another "betrayal" by the BJP towards welfare of the Armed forces.
"The simple question is if the Armed Forces are recognizing an injury suffered while serving the Nation, as fit for payment for disability pension out of Government's treasury, why should the same be taxed?
More so, when a provision of exemption of tax has existed under the Income Tax Act, 1922 which was reiterated by Govt of India on January 14, 1970," he said.
"Another betrayal towards welfare of the Armed Forces by BJP in taxing disability pension. BJP's Pseudo-Nationalism is out in the open as its Govt shall now tax the disability pension to Armed Forces personnel," he alleged in a statement.
Surjewala said as soldiers become unfit to be promoted to higher operational ranks and duties, majority seek premature retirement with disability pensions and many other superannuate with disability pension under the law and rules applicable to the Armed Forces. "This Tughlaqi Farman of Modi Government 2 seeks to rub salt on the wounds of our brave soldiers.
The BJP Government is a habitual offender in insulting the Armed Forces by 'back door' cuts in spending," the Congress leader alleged.
He also asked a set of questions on why the BJP government "disregarded" the honour of soldiers, veterans and ex-servicemen by making 'One Rank, One Pension' as One Rank Five Pensions' and why it withdrew the pension parity of central paramilitary forces.
Surjewala also asked why the previous BJP government withdraw the medical benefits/pensions to Jawans who have valiantly served the nation under Short Service Commission, and why did it impose monthly limits on the quantity of items that can be purchased by individuals from Canteen Stores Department (CSD) outlets, that caters to serving and retired personnel who draw their remuneration from defence estimates.