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17/02/2010

Direct tax: no great expectations

Direct tax: no great expectations

It is that time of the year when we gear up and submit suggestions to the finance minister for his consideration in the upcoming budget. From the direct tax perspective, there are no high expectations from the budget this year because of the much-awaited Direct Tax Code proposed to be effective from April 1, 2011. The current tax regime is just a stopgap arrangement for this year and, thus, all amendments in the present law will be short-lived.

From the direct tax perspective, a few aspects that the common man may look forward in the upcoming budget are:

Rationalization of the income tax exemption limit and tax slabs: In India, the income level on which tax at a maximum marginal rate is levied, is far lower compared with a large number of developing and emerging economies. On the other hand, the prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing. Therefore, relief must be provided by attempting to reduce the prices and also by ensuring more disposable income to counter the problem of inflation. The most impeccable solution would be to enhance the basic exemption limit and the income slabs as shown in Table 1.

Increase in the conveyance allowance limit for employees: At present, conveyance allowance is exempt up to Rs 800 per month. With the increase in fuel prices, this threshold should be increased in the range of Rs 3,000-3,500. Similarly, there is a need to rationalize the exemption limit for children education allowance, hostel expenditure allowances, etc.

Increase in gratuity limit: Under the existing law, gratuity received by a non central government employee to the extent of Rs 3.5 lakh is tax free. For central government employees, the exemption is Rs 10 lakh. There have been various representations to the government to increase the exemption for gratuity to Rs 10 lakh for all.

Enhance the quantum of deduction under section 80C: The government should give more emphasis on savings to secure life after retirement and such impetus can be given by increasing the quantum of deduction to Rs 3 lakh from a meager Rs 1 lakh.

Enhance the exemption limit on medical benefits: Exemption of expenses incurred on medical treatment and reimbursed by employer should be raised from Rs 15,000 yearly to at least Rs 30,000 yearly.

Discrepancy in the age for senior citizens: The discrepancy in the age for senior citizens specified under the income-tax legislation (65 years) and other government departments (60 years) should be removed. Such a measure would help to avoid hardships on people retiring at 60 but paying high taxes on pension till the age of 65.

The common man’s wish list is endless and the irony is that all of these have now become a necessity. The finance minister has a tough job as he has to consider the prospects and consequences of each amendment and then take a decision that suits the larger national interest. However, it won’t be apt to expect that all these will find a mention in this year’s budget. Even if some do make their way, it will be a great relief!

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25



Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974



Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.



6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:



6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:



6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.



Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.



(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.



(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.



(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.



If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.




Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below



Age Group PME Due



Age 00-45 every 4yrs



Age 45-55 every 2yrs



Age 55-60 every year
Details:-
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you
SMLokhande





6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.