National Policy on Older Persons (NPOP)
This policy seeks to strengthen the position of older persons in society helping them to live the golden phase of their life with purpose, dignity, and peace. It provides a broad framework for inter-sector collaboration and cooperation, both within the government as well as between government and non-governmental agencies. NPOP further seeks to assure senior citizens that their concerns are national concerns. It also recognises the role of NGO sector in providing user-friendly, affordable services to complement the endeavours of the State. While recognising the need for promoting productive ageing, the policy also emphasises the importance of family in providing vital non-formal social security for older persons.
For more details visit http://socialjustice.nic.in
Concessions and Facilities for Senior Citizens
Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), vide letter dated 25.5.2009, issued instructions to CEOs of all General Health Insurance Companies, on health insurance for senior citizens. The notice includes –
- Allowing entry into the health insurance scheme until the age of 65 years
- Transparency in the premium charged
- Mandatory recording of reasons for denial of any proposals on all health insurance products for senior citizens.
It allows income tax exemption for Senior Citizens of 60 years and above up to Rs. 3 lakh per annum; Senior Citizens of 80 years and above of up to Rs. 5 lakh per annum. In case of care for dependent senior citizens, deduction of Rs 30,000 under Section 80D is allowed to an individual who pays medical insurance premium for the said dependent(s). Additionally, for medical treatment of a dependent senior citizen, an individual is eligible for a deduction of the amount spent or Rs 60,000, whichever is lesser. Similarly, this deduction limit is Rs 80,000 if the dependant is 80 years or above.
Senior Citizen not having income from profits and gains of business or profession shall not be liable to pay advance tax and allowed to discharge his/her tax liability (other than TDS) by payment of self-assessment tax. They will thus be able to avail monthly income streams by mortgaging a house owned by them. Those over the age of 80 years with an annual income of more than Rs 5 lakh or having a refund claim are exempt from the mandatory e-filing of ITR. No tax-deductible at source is required under Section 193, 194, 194A, 194EE or 194K of the Income Tax Act in case the Senior Citizen furnishes a declaration to the effect that the tax on his estimated total income of the relevant previous will be nil.
Protection of Senior Citizens
Ministry of Home Affairs, Chapter V of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, provides for the protection of life and property of senior citizens. State Governments are required to prescribe a comprehensive action plan for the same.
The MHA had issued detailed advisories earlier dated 27.3.2008 and 30.08.2013 to all the State Government/UTs. State Governments/UTs are thus responsible for the prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of crime including crime against senior citizens as “Police” and “Public order” are state subjects. MHA has subsequently advised for immediate steps to ensure safety and security and for the elimination of all forms of neglect, abuse and violence against old persons. Furthermore, it includes initiatives such as the following –
- Identification of senior citizens
- Sensitisation of police personnel regarding safety and security of older persons
- Regular visit of the beat staff
- Setting up of toll-free senior citizens helplines
- Setting up of senior citizen security cell
- Verification of domestic helps, drivers, etc.
For details log on to http://socialjustice.nic.in/pdf/MHAtostates.pdf
Facilities for Senior Citizens
A platform for retiring employees to showcase significant achievements made during their service. Initially, this facility is only for retiring Central government employees. However, employees retiring in the next 6 months may be provided with an online facility to submit their outstanding achievements.
For more details, log on to http://pensionersportal.gov.in/anubhav/
An initiative from the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Government of India, to provide for pensioners to access opportunities available for useful interventions in the society.
For details log on to http://pensionersportal.gov.in/SANKALP/
Department of Telecommunications Faults/complaints of senior citizens gets priority by registering them with VIP flag, as a priority category. Senior citizens can register telephone connection under N-OYT Special Category.
Concessions in Railways
Ministry of Railways, Indian Railways provides fare concessions in all classes of Mail/Express including Rajdhani/Shatabadi/Jan Shatabadi/Duronto trains –
- 40% concession in rail fare for males aged 60 years and above
- 50% concession for females aged 58 years and above.
For more details click here.