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) has been constituted by the Ministry
of Social Justice and Empowerment to operationalise 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
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
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.
Ministry of Rural Development
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 2011-12 : It does not hold much promise for senior citizens Finance minister
Pranab Mukherjee announced the following measures for senior citizens: reduction of the qualifying age to 60 years from 65
years, enhancing exemption limit to Rs2.50 lakh from Rs2.40 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.
Railways Budget 2010-2011: 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