Nagpur: Sharad Dhumane spent his entire life serving in a nationalized bank. He was posted all over India, often having to take rural postings which kept him away from his wife and two growing children. Later in his senior years he was also posted to USA, where his college going son could NOT join him because he was denied an American Student Visa after having been granted admission by the best universities. So the son had to stay behind alone studying in a college in Nagpur.
Now Sharad is retired and living his life in a house he built in Nagpur – the only house he owns. He and his wife live here by themselves.
His means of sustenance is the monthly pension he gets and the savings he has invested, including his retirement benefits. He has to take care of their growing medical expenses. household needs and travel when he goes to meet his children living away from Nagpur. (Isn’t that the misfortune of all Nagpur parents?)
“It pains me that after having paid taxes all my working life and sacrificed my family life, even now the government is taxing me on my pension. When the returns I get from the sum I have invested in fixed deposits is added to my pension, I am put in the highest slab : 30%. After all deductions, almost half my available income goes in paying taxes at the age of 65.
How long are the middle class professionals of this country going to be the only ones taxed heavily like that?”
A very valid question asked by a Banker who has seen thousands of crores of ‘loan money’ taken by billionaires like Vijay Mallya written off as ‘bad debts’ while he continues to enjoy his royal life.
“I have studied banking laws and taxation rules of many developed countries” says Sharad.
“What we lack are stringent rules guiding loan defaulters and immediate action taken against them.”
He suggests that like in the USA, they should be jailed immediately and their immovable assets seized. Only then will the rich Corporate sector of India stop treating public sector banks’ debts as their personal estate.
Good suggestion coming on the heels of the shocking expose of Indian Express that bad debts have mounted to 1,40,000 crore Rupees!
Are you listening Mr. Finance Minister?
Please go soft on working people who pay taxes honestly all their lives; do not take away even their pension money from them – instead go after the billionaire defaulters who have put our Banking industry in peril today.
…Sunita Mudaliar- Associate Editor