The Damned Senior Citizen
This is a letter to all the netas and babus who pay lip service to senior citizens (SCs). An SC is usually a retired person, usually someone who has no regular earnings except from his savings and investments. We work, earn and save till we are 58 or 60. Sometimes, in the private sector, we can work till we are physically able to. Even post-retirement, some take up some part-time job, in order to keep our hearths warm. All of us live in different circumstances.
 
Those of us who have saved and invested all our lives are now at a stage where we cannot take risks with our capital. Preservation of capital becomes important. (Of course, everything depends on how much one has and our lifestyles). Not many will be in a position to still ride the vagaries of the financial markets. 
 
At this stage of life, where no more capital is forthcoming, one can be paralysed by fear. Opportunities do not seem tempting enough and risks seem magnified. We are seeing the return on our money diminishing rapidly. At the same time, the risks are increasing. In our early days, we had learnt that higher the risk, the higher the reward. However, the government seems to think that higher risk is offset by lower interest rates.
 
Some frequented cooperative banks to get that extra return. Now, we are afraid to go to any private bank. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gives banking licences and is supposed to supervise them. It approves the appointment of managing director and directors. It does regular inspections. And, still, depositors’ money is at risk. Something is clearly wrong with the role that RBI is playing. 
 
One thing policy-makers must understand. All our savings are from ‘tax-paid’ money. Now, if you ask us to pay taxes, once again, on the fixed deposit interest that this money earns, it is very unfair. If the same finances were recorded on a business account, the business would get tax deductions. Here, we buy our car with post-tax money. We do not get ‘depreciation’ or ‘repairs’ or ‘fuel’ or ‘driver salary’ as deduction from what we earn. A businessman will simply charge all of this and his household expenses to his business and pare his personal taxes. 
 
Some of us were able to invest money in stocks. As far as I remember, taxation on dividends and capital gains has been ‘capricious’, at best. For most years, dividend was taxed in the hands of the shareholders; for some years, this was removed. It has come back. Then came ‘securities transaction tax’ (STT) on every trade. So, whether the investor makes money or not, the government keeps making money. This is clearly not government ‘for’ or ‘by’ the people. And when STT was introduced, the government told us that there would be no more capital gains on investments sold after one year of purchase. And STT would take care of everything. Alas, this promise was broken. Not only STT, on every component there is also a GST (goods and services tax)! The brokerage I pay my broker goes up by nearly half, thanks to all these levies. I would say that the government has cheated me and is robbing me only because it has the powers to make the law.
 
Those of us, who had ‘salary’ income through our working career, have paid our taxes. Now, giving me a certificate through an email is of no use. It cannot even be used as toilet paper. It hurts because you, in government, get benefits that are unheard of in the rest of the world. You keep your jobs irrespective of how well you do the job. You get pensions. Some of you get pensions that are linked to inflation. And some of you, who may be in your chairs for just five years, get pension for life. 
 
Of course, you guys are doing yeomen service for the nation and I do not grudge the goodies that you get. All I am saying is that all these goodies come to you from taxpayers like us. And you guys have the unique distinction of voting yourself your salaries and the hikes therein. So your treating the minority—us (if we were a significant vote bank, you would not have neglected us)—is a reflection of your character. 
 
I was very happy when you introduced discounts on railway tickets for SCs. Of course, you guys do not need any, since you never pay for anything from your own pockets. Everything was fine. Then, some bright chap in the ministry decided that we could ‘give up’ our concessions if we are ‘shamed’ for using it. This is brutal. 
 
As a politician, you have nothing to gain by giving us some financial support in the form of tax exemptions. You give tax breaks to businessmen because they contribute to your election funds and party money. You give concessions to this group called ‘farmers’ with four hands, no matter how rich some ‘farmers’ are—two from the Centre and two from the state. When I see that crowd standing in a queue at the neighbouring liquor shop every day, I realise it is a bigger game. They are buying liquor at the government shop which stocks liquor made by families and friends of the politicians. 
 
You do not even care about our health. Health insurance premiums are very expensive for us. And if we switch to a cheaper option, the new fellow will say ‘pre-existing’ conditions not covered till four years. And on the medical insurance premiums we pay, you have no qualms in applying GST at usurious rates. We are truly an ignored lot. Many of us are not financially ‘aware’. We go to someone who tells us that we can get a higher return on our savings. Yes, it’s our fault. But when the cheat is caught, you could at least help us with a better redress system. 
 
We are not asking for too much. We do not want certificates and hollow words of gratitude. We spend less on food and more on health. So, if you have to do anything, help us in a way where you spare us further taxes in life. Some of us have paid taxes for 40 years (more than most politicians will ever pay) and have done our bit for ‘nation-building’. The tax collection to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio is so low that we are only a small fraction of who you can target. 
 
One day, we will be a large part of the vote bank. At that time, we hope we can get some justice and fairness from the ruling elite. I suggest that you take a paper and pencil and find out what will you give up if you exempt us from taxes. It is not going to break the nation. You can easily make up for it by taking back some exemption that you have given to your friends who do business. You give yourselves a goal. Instead of saying ‘thank you’ to the taxpayers and others, do something that will make us say ‘thank you’.
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    COMMENTS

    ajithk303

    3 days ago

    Why only SCs almost all citizens are suffering except Adanis ,politicians and ambanis

    mathurgcpta

    5 days ago

    We need to take in to account for government security of Senior Citizens, the ground realities of this class of the society who are damned by the young generation. Why the young generation does not and would not be able to take care of their parents and grand parents? This generation has to meet with the high cost of medical health care, education and social inter-related activities of their own children besides their own . The growing up age with linked wear and tear resulting in diminishing out put in terms of income and de-valuation of the currency is leaving hardly any money for the care of their own parents. The GoI has not thought on these lines at all. Instead, it is working on converting the recovered personal money assessed as overcharged by way of taxes on sales or more than the MRP , including he Integrated CGST/GST as state revenue as would be clear from the CENTRAL BOARD OF INDIRECT TAXES AND CUSTOMS' NOTIFICATION
    New Delhi, the 18th April, 2018, No. 21/2018 – Central Tax. This is bad in governance and bad in law of administration.

    sameertiwari

    1 week ago

    Excellent to the point article. I doubt now days Govt listens to citizens , they are Atma Nirbhar from citizens only nirbhar when elections are their

    murugeson.s

    1 week ago

    valuable and useful

    bhavnani2007

    2 weeks ago

    Excellent article!
    Question - Can senior citizen start his own company with a Joint Family to avoid taxation ? the same way the business person does currently

    vmahesh9

    2 weeks ago

    Wow! The Language!!

    cvkakatkar

    2 weeks ago

    Excellent ! Why not go on Youtube?
    Making it viral - is one way to gather public opinion and touch the policy makers.
    You will be doing a great service to all salary earners.

    Ramesh Popat

    2 weeks ago

    excellent! superb!
    (got this weekly updates, but not getting regular newsletter
    since a month. pl. do the needful)

    tovpkumar

    2 weeks ago

    Excellent .The government should at least keep the interest on FD's to about 10% and not keep on decreasing the interest. Income tax should be exempted for SC. as we have paid tax throughout our earning life and now have to depend on the interest from our savings.

    neela

    3 weeks ago

    Excellent article! Absolutely dot on! I sincerely hope, that those in power take note of this. It feels like its almost a crime to be a taxpayer!

    sactel

    3 weeks ago

    I realized not only Senior citizens this article applies in general to all the middle-class salaried tax-payers. I would request to tweak this article by replacing the word 'Senior' with 'middle-class salaried tax-payer' for larger reach. Hypocrisy well articulated that must reach the people concerned. Can I refer this article or use it contents with due credits to author on social media platform ?

    This was long due..... you could have chosen to be more harsh but that would have been the anti-nature of all of us helpless souls surrendered to whatever govt of the day !

    Thanks

    vijay_balasubramaniam

    3 weeks ago

    Sir, excellent article which puts light on the way this Atma-Nir-Bhar government is making us Atma-Sarkar-Dar. However on a funny note, are you planning to move to Pakistan, any one who raise such succinct analysis backed by fact is generally branded senile leftist,communist, desh droghi.

    We thought a majority government is best for India, now we know how dangerous that is laws are rewritten, policies and jhumla becomes business ethics narrative.

    Our vote bank is polarized even within the senior denizens, unless affiliations are driven of ease of living, moral righteousness to question the government and is bcrat aparatus.

    Region, caste, religion, customs still drives vote banks sir, unless those lines are broken it will be pappu jamaii to chowkidar to pappu grind, self appointed secretaries who know nothing about economics and life.

    May the FM will say, I dont go to hospitals, I eat healthy, most of the millennials in the country are healthy, eat right and never get old.

    Great read Sir, please keep writing, Please!!

    renukaviru

    3 weeks ago

    all the addressee should find little time to this genuine call from the painful heart.
    let us hope-- so---

    sundar_ramang

    3 weeks ago

    Superb article and very well said..so very true..All governments are the same..no exception..maybe that is why many in the middle class do not bother voting !

    dog2on

    3 weeks ago

    Kudos Mr. Balakrishnan for a well thought out and enunciated article.
    Where I disagree is with your ending statement. You wish our senior citizenry to be grateful to the thieves who return what in the first place they have stolen from us, with a 'thank you'?

    No sir and to all those others who mention that a movement be started. The movement can start with all of us old codgers demanding with one voice, the immediate abolishing of the Income Tax on all Senior Citizens, within 5 years for all Individuals and within 10 years for all Businesses/Enterprises of any kind and passing a legislation (if required by altering the Constitution) that no government either at the Center or State can ever introduce any personal tax on any individual.

    What the State will loose monetarily by these steps is a laughable amount compared to the other nefarious means it adopts to fill its coffers but will entail in vast savings of disbanding the monolithic Income Tax Department with its personnel and properties and give such a fillip to the economy (psychologically, if nothing else), that observers might be left aghast, i.e., if we as citizens are ever ready to prevent the crooks from re-entering through some back-door.

    Would it be in the interest of people to start such a movement which emasculates the State as we know it? Abolishing any individual from being ever taxed is but the first step, the long term goal being the State only being in existence (that too maybe?) to protect the life and property of its citizens from physical harm.

    The present construct has only seen to it that like lambs to the slaughter, it is we who have abdicated and abrogated our rights to the rouges gallery of politicians and bureaucrats. It is high time we took that back and be ever vigilant to protect and keep those rights for ourselves and for the generations to come.

    Nifty, Sensex remains under pressure – Tuesday closing report
    We had mentioned Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex fell sharply due to contraction in the GDP of the economy in April-June 2020 quarter. On Tuesday, the major indices closed with minor gains. On the NSE, there were 818 advances,1,016 declines and 349 unchanged.
     
    The trends of the major indices in the course of Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
     
     
     
    Stock price of Bharti Airtel posted its biggest single-day gain since May, while Vodafone Idea Ltd. hit a lower circuit after the Supreme Court granted telecom operators 10 years to pay pending AGR dues. The carriers will have to pay 10% of the statutory dues stemming from the top court's October 2019 verdict that upheld the government's calculations on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) by March 31, 2021. The chairmen of the telecom companies will have to give undertakings for payments, according to an order by the three-judge panel headed by Justice Arun Mishra. A default on payment installments will invite interest, penalty and contempt of court.
     
    Escorts reported strong auto sales for the month of August. Domestic sales jumped 79.4% to 6,750 units against 3,763 units in July, while exports rose 90.4% to 518 units from 272 units in the previous month.
     
    Biocon launched a diabetes drug for the US market called Semglee™ (insulin glargine injection) in a vial and pre-filled pen presentations, approved to help control high blood sugar in adult and pediatric patients with type-1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes.
     
    NTPC said it would seek shareholders' nod to raise up to Rs 15,000 crore through issuance of bonds in the annual general meeting scheduled for next month.
     
    Reliance Power said it had defaulted on payment of principal and intereston a term loan from Axis Bank, YES Bank, IDBI Bank and Laxmi Vilas Bank totalling to Rs 300.22 crore.
     
    Eicher Motors sold 50,144 motorcycles during August 2020, as compared to 52,904 units in August 2019, a drop of 5% YoY. It sold 46,357 units of models with engine capacity upto 350cc in August 2020 as against 44,694 units in August 2019, registering a drop of 4% YoY. Exports stood at 2,573 units in August 2020 as against 4,152 units in August 2019, a drop of 38% YoY.
     
    BEML bagged an order from Ministry of Defence for supply of 330 high mobility vehicles for Pinaka project at a value of Rs 842 crore.
     
    Maruti Suzuki reported a 21.7 percent YoY growth in domestic sales to 1,15,325 units in August. The company witnessed wholesale of 94,728 units in the year-ago period.
     
    Bharat Dynamics posted a net loss of Rs 78.04 crore in the quarter ended June 2020 as against a net profit of Rs 65.55 crore during the previous quarter ended June 2019. Sales declined 97.74% to Rs 9.77 crore in the quarter ended June 2020 as against Rs 431.54 crore during the previous quarter ended June 2019.
     
    Hero Motocorp sold 584,456 units of motorcycles and scooters in the month of August 2020, a growth of 7.55% over August 2019 when it sold 543,406 units.
     
    The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
     
     
    The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
     
  • User 

    New Rules for Margins and Pledging of Shares Come into Force from 1st September
    Two major regulatory changes have kicked in for stock market investors from Tuesday (1st September), including the method of pledging stocks and upfront margin requirements for stocks and futures and options (F&Os).
     
    Under the new margins system, there will be a bunch of changes with respect to margin requirements.
     
    Buying and selling of shares will require an upfront margin from now onwards. So if anyone wants to buy shares worth Rs1 lakh, they must have Rs20,000 in their account as cash and the rest of the money is to be paid within 2 days.
     
    The major change is that if anyone wants to sell Rs1 lakh worth of shares from their holdings, for that scenario also, they must have a minimum of Rs20,000 in their account, failing which penalties will be levied.
     
    The sale from holdings will also require an upfront margin in cash. An investor can keep extra cash/pledge other holdings for the stipulated margin required.
     
    In addition, the shares bought one day cannot be sold the next day. So, if an investor bought shares on, say, Monday, then he can only sell them after receiving the delivery of shares. So, in T+2, they can sell these on Wednesday.
     
    If shares are sold after delivery, the funds cannot be used for new trades the same day, and can only be used the next day.
     
    So, for instance, if an investor sold Rs10,000 worth of Reliance's shares on Monday, he cannot use this money to buy fresh shares of other companies. This Rs10,000 will be cleared the next day and can be used the next day.
     
    There are no changes in F&O rules for now till further notice.
     
    Under the new pledging system, until now, when anyone pledged stocks as collateral to receive margins for trading F&Os, they had to move it from their demat account to the broker and, in turn, to the clearing corporation.
     
    Going forward, the stock will continue to remain in the demat account and can be directly pledged to the clearing corporation.
     
    "Over the last weekend, we have unpledged all securities which were pledged with us to the customer demat account and many have repledged it, using the new mechanism," Zerodha said in a note to clients.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    COMMENTS

    rohansankpal

    3 weeks ago

    With this new rules in place, what will happen of intra day traders?

    rohansankpal

    3 weeks ago

    Prima facie the intention to introduce these new guidelines seems to curb speculation but doing so is likely to destroy the liquidity in the markets. Speculators are an essential element in efficient markets. The requirement of upfront margin on selling of shares is ridiculous and is a way to control the selling in the markets, in other words SEBI (or government or whoever) is trying to penalise sellers. They want people to bring in money and resist them from taking it out, they are actually trying to manipulate the market. I pity the Indian investors (which includes me as well), they are now left with no good options to invest their hard-earned money. FD interest rates are already at all time low’s of around 5%, with the introduction of these guidelines they can now put money in the stock market but when they have to withdraw they will have to borrow the 20% margin money from somewhere or else pay the penalty thus reducing the returns on the investment. What are these guys trying to do? Are such rules applied in any other countries?

    m.prabhu.shankar

    3 weeks ago

    Why should one maintain a margin for selling his own shares ? Idiotic. Whose idea is this ? What's the logic behind this in curbing market volatility ?

    homaielavia

    3 weeks ago

    For buying shares, having balance of Rs.20,000 in account is OK but for selling shares, it is a stupid requirement. So long account is operative, balance therein is of no concern for selling of shares. Should not be a requirement. What is the rationale behind such stupid orders? Instead of simplifying transactions, things are getting very very complicated.

    soundararajanmk

    3 weeks ago

    While this is the correct first move in crippling the high volatility in the daily stock price movement, and a stop to the officially authorized gambling, insisting on margin for selling one's stock at his/her demat account does not appear to be correct or legally tenable.

    ganesanjaicare

    3 weeks ago

    this is clearly welcoming move.gullible speculators in the name of investors protected.sebi wants to discourage excessive speculation .

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