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Benefits given to Senior Citizens in India


  Constitutional Provisions in India

  In Constitution of India, entry 24 in list III of schedule VII deals with the “Welfare of Labour, including conditions of work, provident funds, liability for workmen’s compensation, invalidity and Old age pension and maternity benefits.
Further, Item No. 9 of the State List and item 20, 23 and 24 of Concurrent List relates to old age pension, social security and social insurance, and economic and social planning.
  Article 41 of Directive Principles of State Policy has particular relevance to Old Age Social Security. According to this Article, “the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in case of undeserved want”.

   Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

 Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment  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.

  A National Council for Older Persons (NCOP)

  A National Council for Older Persons (NCOP)  has been constituted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to operationally  the National Policy on Older Persons.

  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.

  The Ministry is also implementing following schemes for the benefit of Senior Citizens:
The Scheme of Assistance to Panchayati Raj Institutions/Voluntary Organizations/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.
  An Integrated Programme for Older Persons has been formulated by revising the earlier scheme of “Assistance to Voluntary Organizations  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. 

  Ministry of Rural Development

  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. Under the Annapurna Scheme, free food grains (wheat or rice) up to 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. 

  Ministry of Finance

  Union Budget 2014-15 : The Finance minister Arun Jetly announced the following measures for senior citizens: enhancing exemption limit to Rs3 lakh from Rs2.50 lakh and creating a new category of 'very senior citizens', 80 years and above, who will be eligible for a higher exemption limit of Rs 5 lakh. 
  Section 88 of Finance Act, 1992, provides income tax rebate of up to Rs.15,000 or actual tax whichever is less to senior citizens who have attained the age of 65 years at any time during the relevant previous year.
   Senior Citizens are excluded from “One by Six” scheme for filing the Income Tax Return under proviso Section 139(1). For Senior Citizen, the deduction in respect of medical insurance premium is up to Rs. 15,000/- under Section 80 D. 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.  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.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

  The Ministry has issued instructions to all State Governments to provide for separate queues for older persons in hospitals for registration and clinical examination.

 Ministry of Railways 

  Senior Citizens concession to be hiked from 30% to 40 % this year.  Previously Indian Railways provide 30% concession in all classes and trains including Rajdhani / Shatabadi trains for both males and females aged 60 years and above. Indian Railways also have the facility of separate counters for Senior Citizens for purchase/booking or  cancellation of tickets.

  In a bid to provide maximum benefit to senior citizens, the Ministry of Railways has decided to increase the element of concession to 40% from existing 30% for male senior citizens who are above 60 years of age. The concessional fare of 40% will be applicable o­n tickets purchased o­n and after 1st June, 2011. In case of tickets already issued for travel on and after 1st June, 2011, refund of difference of fares will not be admissible.

  In case of women senior citizens, the minimum age for availing senior citizens concession has been reduced to 58 years from the existing 60 years. The element of concession remains to be 50 per cent.The concession to senior citizens is granted in the basic fares of Mail/Express trains and all inclusive fares of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan
Shatabdi trains.


  Ministry of Civil Aviation

  Indian Airlines/Jet Airways is providing 50 per cent discount on basic fare for all domestic flights in Economy Class to senior citizens having the age of 65years (men and women)  Sahara India Airlines is providing 50 per cent discount on basic fare for all domestic flights in Economy Class to senior citizens having the age of 62 years (men and women) 

  Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

  Reservation of two seats for senior citizens in front row of the buses of the State Road Transport Undertakings (ASTRU) . MCD, Delhi, has opened a separate counter for senior citizens for submission of property tax 


  Telephone connection is given on priority to senior citizens of age 65 years and above by the Ministry of  Telecommunications.
  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 disposal. MCD, Delhi, has opened a separate counter for senior citizens for submission of property tax   

  Senior Citizen Savings Scheme

  A new savings scheme called ‘Senior Citizens Savings Scheme’ has been notified with effect from August 2, 2004. The Scheme is for the benefit of senior citizens and maturity period of the deposit will be five years, extendable by another three years. Initially the scheme will be available through designated post offices through out the country. 
  Under this scheme citizens of 60 years of age and above are eligible to invest the minimum investment of Rs.1000 and in multiples of Rs.1000 subject to a maximum of Rs.15 lakhs. Single or joint account (with spouse only) can be opened. Citizens who have retired under a voluntary or a special voluntary retirement scheme and have attained the age of 55 years are also eligible, subject to specified conditions.
  The deposit will carry an interest of 9% per annum (taxable). The maturity period of the deposit will be five years, extendable by another three years. Premature withdrawal after a period of one year will be allowed, subject to some deductions. The investments in the scheme will be non-tradable and non-transferable. However, nomination facility will be available.Non-Resident Indians and Hindu Undivided Families are not eligible to invest in the scheme.



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