FACILITIES & BENEFITS GIVEN TO SENIOR CITIZENS
BY DIFFERENT MINISTRIES & DEPARTMENTS
Compiled & updated by Sh. Harchandan
(As per information available on the
National Portal of Government of India)
1 MINISTRY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE
1. Ministry of Social Justice
& Empowerment is the nodal Ministry responsible for welfare of the Senior
Citizens. It has announced the National Policy on Older Persons which
seeks to assure older persons that their concerns are national concerns
and they will not live unprotected, ignored and marginalized. The National
Policy aims to strengthen their legitimate place in the society and to
help older people to live the last phase of their life with purpose,
dignity and peace. The National Policy on Older Persons inter alia
visualizes support for financial security, health care and nutrition,
shelter, emphasis upon education, training and information needs,
provision of appropriate concessions, rebates and discounts etc. to Senior
Citizens and special attention to protect and strengthen their legal
rights such as to safeguard their life and property. The National Policy
on Older Persons confers the status of senior citizen to a person who has
attained the age of 60 years.
2. The Ministry has also
written to all the Ministries/State Governments concerned for adopting a
uniform age of 60 years for conferring the status of senior citizen to a
person and for extending facilities/concessions to them at Annexure I –
(To be printed in next issue).
3. The Ministry is also
implementing following schemes for the benefit of Senior Citizens:
a. The Scheme of Assistance
to Panchayati Raj Institutions/Voluntary Organisations/Self Help Groups
for Construction of Old Age Homes/multi-service centres for older
persons. Under this Scheme, one time construction grant for old age
homes/multi-service centre is provided.
b. An Integrated Programme
for Older Persons has been formulated by revising the earlier scheme of
“Assistance to Voluntary Organisations for Programmes relating to the
Welfare of the Aged”. Under this Scheme, financial assistance upto 90% of
the project cost is provided to NGOs for establishing and maintaining old
age homes, day care centres, mobile medicare units and to provide
non-institutional services to older persons.
2. MINISTRY OF FINANCE
1. In the Budget for the year
2008-09 – a) Exemption limit from Income Tax for Senior Citizens (above 65
years of age) has been raised to Rs 2.25 lakh as against 1.8 lakh for
women and Rs 1.5 lakh for others.
b) Additional exemption of Rs 20000
in Mediclaim for Premium paid by the Wards, for the Senior Citizens to
encourage wards to take better care of health of Parents.
c) 9 percent Interest on Senior
Citizens Saving Scheme (2004), with Tax benefit up-to Rs 1, 00, 000 for
amount deposited in “Senior Citizens Savings Scheme” under Section 80C,
from Financial Year 2008-09.
2. Senior Citizens are
excluded from “One by Six” scheme for filing the Income Tax Returns under
proviso Section 139(1).
3. For Senior Citizen,
deduction for Medical Insurance premia up-to Rs. 15,000/- under Section 80
4. RBI has permitted higher
rates of interest on Saving Schemes of Senior Citizens (persons having the
age of 65 years and above). Accordingly, w.e.f. 15.05.01, Banks permitted
0.5 per cent higher rate of interest on fixed deposits.
5. Separate counters are
marked for Senior Citizens at the time of filing the Income Tax Returns.
Senior Citizens of the age of 65 year and above as on 31st March of the
assessment year, must be a pensioner and should come personally, get
priority while submitting their Income Tax Returns. Besides, on the spot
assessment facility is also provided.
3. INDIAN RAILWAYS
1. Indian Railways provide
30% concession in all classes and trains including Rajdhani / Shatabadi
trains for both males and females aged 60 years and above.
2. Indian Railways also have
the facility of separate counters for Senior Citizens for
purchase/booking/cancellation of tickets.
4. MINISTRY OF ROAD TRANSPORT
Reservation of two seats for senior
citizens in front row of the buses of the State Road Transport
5. Ministry of Telecommunications
Telephone connection is given on
priority to senior citizens of age 65 years and above
6. HIGH COURTS
On the request of the Ministry of
Social Justice and Empowerment, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India has
advised Chief Justices of all High Courts in the country to accord
priority to cases involving older persons and ensure their expeditious
7. OLD AGE PENSION
1. Under the National Old Age
Pension Scheme, Central Assistance of Rs. 75/- p.m. is granted to
destitute older persons above 65 years. This Scheme has been transferred
to the State Plan w.e.f. 2002-03.
2. Under the Annapurna
Scheme, free food grains (wheat or rice) upto 10 kg. per month are
provided to destitute older persons 65 years or above who are otherwise
eligible for old age pension but are not receiving it.