Four centenarian women, including one who is 117 years old, have been felicitated by the Income Tax department in Madhya Pradesh for paying their taxes regularly, an official here said on Tuesday. In view of the COVID-19 protocols, the felicitation programme was held through video conference on Monday with officials visiting these women at their places in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to honour them.
The Income Tax department honoured Girija Bai Tiwari(117) from Bina in Madhya Pradesh's Sagar district, Ishwaribai Lulla (103) and Kanchan Bai (100) from Indore in the state, and Beena Rakshit (100) from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh for paying their taxes regularly, the official said.
Asked if Girija Bai is the oldest taxpayer in the world or India, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax(Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh) A K Chauhan said," I am not sure about it, but she is certainly the oldest in the two states as per the PAN card record. She is definitely one of the oldest taxpayers in the country." Chauhan informed that Girija Bai is drawing family pension on behalf of her husband, who was the original pensioner.
The department was to felicitate the taxpayers in Bhopal but due to the Coronavirus threat, the event was cancelled and the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax AK Chauhan spoke to the taxpayers on video conferencing and local officers handed the certificate to the taxpayers at their home.
Girja Bai belongs to an influential family of Bina and her husband, Siddhnath Tiwari had taken part in Bharat Chhoro Andolan in 1942. In his lifetime, Tiwari never accepted pension but after his demise in 1985, both the Centre and state governments started offering pension to Girja Bai.
The department has also opened two new Aaykar Sewa Kendra in Morena and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh for the convenience of taxpayers in the state, Chauhan said.