By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 18 Sep: It took retired defence personnel almost two decades of effort to get house tax exemption from the Uttarakhand Government for all ranks, as is the case in most of the states in India. By continuous persuasion of Brig KG Behl (Retd), ex-President, Dehradun Ex-Services League, Lt Col BM Thapa (Retd), Senior Vice President, DESL, and others for many years, the exemption could be obtained.
On 17 September, however, the Uttarakhand Government passed a resolution at a Cabinet meeting that no house tax would be exempt for officers and their families. Ex-servicemen ask why this discrimination between officers and below JCO ranks.
It is argued that most of the time, defence personnel serve in high altitude areas, remote areas and other hardship areas, which is why all other states have exempted house tax for defence personnel. This step will not only demoralise serving soldiers but also retired veterans and their families, who are not happy with present policy of the Uttarakhand Government.
They have demanded that the government should straightway amend these orders and House Tax remain exempted for officers and their families, also, as was the case earlier.