Understanding the Income Tax Exemption for Sikkimese
By Satyabrat Sinha
In a recent judgement, on 13 January 2023, the Supreme Court (SC) of India extended Income Tax (IT) exemption to the ‘Indian-origin’ old settlers of Sikkim and to Sikkimese women married to non-Sikkimese.1 The old settlers, most of whom are Marwaris, will now be treated equivalent to the people of Sikkim who are recognized as Sikkimese for the purpose of IT exemption. So far, only Scheduled Tribes residing in Sixth Schedule areas and so recognized as native or local had IT exemption. The inclusion of an immigrant group into the differentiated citizenship regime in North East India is both, an opportunity to address grievances of non-local communities and at the same time a source of fear to communities identified as native and local.