In what has become a major revelation since he took office, President Ram Nath Kovind has put out how much he is paying as Income Tax every month. His admission has stirred debate across social media with many users pinning their mixed emotions over his statement and some had said that his taxation amount is improbable.
The President is on a four-day visit to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and while speaking at a public event, he said that while he earns a healthy salary of Rs 5 lakh a month as the President of India, he is not able to save much as he pays Rs 2.75 lakh as tax every month. He has revealed how much he pays as tax in his bid to urge people to pay their taxes for the nation's development.
He had claimed that as the sequel of paying more tax, he couldn't able to make savings in a fashion of officials who are into the public service. Ram Nath Kovind said, "If the president is the highest-paid employee of the country, he also pays taxes. I pay a tax of Rs 2.75 lakh a month. But people only talk about my salary of Rs 5 lakh." With his statement, it can be ascertained that he is paying almost 55% of his monthly salary as Income tax.
However, is that possible? The question arises from the experts who say that the highest income tax paid by the elite people with an income of over 5 crores a year would be around 43%. As per the constitution, the President is the highest-paid government official in India followed by the Vice-President, state governors, and the Prime Minister. In 2017, the Indian government had increased the salary of the President from Rs 1.5 lakh per month to Rs 5 lakh per month.
In addition to the salary, the President is entitled to receive other allowances including free housing, transport, and medical facilities. The officer holder can also bring their family members under the entitlement. As per the report, the President is not exempted from paying the tax as there was no taxation exemption for the President's salary under the Income Tax Act and under the President Emoluments and Pension Act.
Having said that, the President would be paying tax but not likely to the scale of what Ram Nath Kovind has said. However, there is no light on clarity on the nature of the President's income whether it covers only the salary or the income from other sources. Though it's not known about the presidential tax regime, the reports say that Ram Nath Kovind's tax admission might include his pay cut for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the President has said that he will forgo 30 per cent of his salary for a year as his contribution to the country's fight against the pandemic. He could have added his contribution to the claim of paying Rs 2.75 lakh as tax every month. As per this computation, the President is getting Rs 3.50 lakh as his monthly salary. The only front where the President can avoid paying tax is through surrendering his salaries to the Consolidated Fund of India as per the Voluntary Surrender of Salaries (Exemption of Taxation) Act, 1961.