A Stab from the Back on Disabled Soldiers !

Officers and Soldiers Sacrifice their lives on the lines of duty in the Defense of the Nation. Some get killed and become Martyrs. The lesser lucky ones, get disabled. The totally ‘useless any further’ get boarded out or get invalidated.
Disabled Soldiers who can still contribute in many ways continue to serve the Nation , do so and retire with Disability pension.
Governments of the past, as a gesture of gratitude to the Disabled Soldiers exempted them from Income tax.
The Government of the day, which claims to be Soldier friendly and uses Armed Forces to their advantage and glory, decided to do away with exemption of Tax benefits to Disabled Soldiers.
The matter went to Supreme Court which put a Stay on Government’s decision.
While the Stay is in operation, PCDA Allahabad, the Pension authority issued a letter which is not very clear. SBI , which is the major pension disbursing bank, took note of the PCDA Letter and implemented it.
SBI implemented the taxation policy retrospectively, calculated Tax arrears and deducted the entire pension for the month. To keep the Zero balance Account ‘alive’ , they credited Rs 100/- in the pension account.
Most of the Disabled soldiers are Not employed being ‘Disabled’. The only source of income for their living is their Pension. If sources are to be believed, this may continue till the entire ‘so called Tax arrears’ are recovered. 
This is the most illogical, inhuman and insensitive action that can be taken by a Government against its Retired and Disabled Soldiers. A thankless nation disowns its veterans who once guarded the nation and became Disabled while doing so.
As a norm, whenever any arrears are to be recovered, not more than one third is recovered in a month on account of subsistence. Do the Government or the Bank want the Veterans to be on the street begging ?? The same question, I ask the CDS, General Bipin Rawat, who was also favouring the decision against Disabled Soldiers .Shameful.
Today’s Soldiers are tomorrow’s Veterans, some of them will be disabled. How this action of the Government is going to affect the morale of the Serving Officers and Soldiers, God only knows.
Today is the darkest day in my life as a Retired Officer with Disability.
A stab on my back that God knows when it will heal.
Col Ramesh R ( Retd)
29 Feb 2020

Source: Indian Military Veterans
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