An online petition against the proposed tax on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals, started by chartered financial analyst Vaibhav Aggarwal and Gurgaon-based Cians Analytics Financial, has got over 140,000 sign-ups on its first day.
Vaibhav’s Change.org petition with #EPFNoTax has been shared widely on Twitter and Facebook, and the number of signatories are growing by a few thousands every hour.
“I am disillusioned by the government’s decision to tax EPF. It is a draconian move,” Aggarwal told HT. “It hurts me and many youngsters in this country. Our appeal to the government is, withdraw this tax immediately.”
In his budget speech on Monday, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced the decision to tax withdrawals exceeding 40% of an individual’s retirement pot in the EPF, unless the sum is reinvested in a pension product such as an annuity. In the face of rising opposition from the middle-class and markets alike, the government has indicated it is open to amendments to the proposal.
However, even this is unacceptable to 60 million EPF subscribers in India, Aggarwal said.
A similar campaign supporting net neutrality was launched on change.org by Kollam (Kerala)-based Sandeep Pillai in December last year. It was supported by 375,000 people online, and was one of the campaigns that forced the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to re-examine the issue.