STATEMENT SHOWING THE FACILITIES/ BENEFITS GIVEN TO SENIOR CITIZENS BY DIFFERENT MINISTRIES/ DEPARTMENTS
Statement showing the facilities benefits given to senior citizens by different Ministries / Departments
Name of the Ministry/Department
Facilities/Benefits given to Senior Citizens
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
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.
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 facilites/concessions to them (copy at Annexure I)
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 provided.
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
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) 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.
Ministry of Finance
Section 88 of Finance Act, 1992, provides income tax rebate of upto 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 premia is upto 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 (on request from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment) 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
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/cancellation of tickets.
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 62years (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 1
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.