Army HQ wants to tax disability pensions, except for combat casualties


Indian Army personnel positioned near Ratnuchak military station in Jammu | Photo PTI

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New Delhi: Disability pensions for military personnel should be taxed, except those who sustain combat damage, the military staff proposed, ThePrint has learned.

The finance ministry recently decided to tax disability pensions, which sparked a massive uproar from military veterans. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had promised to look into the matter, and the three department heads were invited to give their views. This is why the military has now sent this new proposal to the navy and the air force.

From now on, the service and disability elements of the pension are tax free for all disability pensioners.

Other new proposals

The army staff would also have proposed that the premium of the contributory health scheme for veterans (ECHS) be calculated on the percentage of disability of a soldier.

The proposal also aims to minimize the distinction between secondments of “field” and “peace” personnel when calculating disability pension, and to reduce the disparity in disability pension between officers and staff. below the rank of officer (PBOR).

The proposal from the army headquarters comes a few days after its presentation to the other department heads on July 31.

The presentation included radical changes in the structure of disability pensions, such as increasing the minimum disability allowable for a person to 30 percent from the current 20 percent, and removing the broadband factor from l ‘invalidity and assigning only the real percentage value of invalidity.

Broadband refers to the fact that soldiers with 20 to 50 percent disability receive 50 percent of last earned salary, those with 51 to 75 percent disability receive 75 percent, and those with 75 to 100 percent. hundred percent disability get 100 percent.

Read also : Indian army chief needs to know no one pretends to be disabled

The air force and navy were not in favor

Senior government sources told ThePrint that the other two department heads disagreed with the points made by the military in its presentation.

“The Air Force and Navy are keen to keep the disability pension structure as it is now,” said a source within the defense establishment.

However, it remains to be seen how they will react to the military’s latest proposal.

Why is this a big deal?

The defense ministry had asked the three department heads for their views on the matter after a finance ministry circular said these pensions would be taxed, sparking major outrage within the armed forces and particularly among the military. Veterans. The military had accepted the offer, claiming that unscrupulous officers had played the system to their advantage.

There were requests to withdraw the circular, fueled by the fact that several soldiers of all ranks continued to serve with dignity and achieve higher ranks, despite severe disabilities.

A prominent face of this request was Ian Cardozo, who cut his injured leg with his own khukri during the 1971 war as a young major, and continued to serve until his retirement as a major general.

Read also: The problem is not to tax the disability pension of the armed forces, but to demonize disability

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