Programs For Senior Citizens
Benefits concessions schemes for senior citizens :
Government of India has earmarked special benefits and concessions for Senior Citizens of India. Here is a brief compilation of same for your ready reference :
(1) Law (Legislations) Claim your Rights Now, Need support? We are just a call away.
Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007
Indian Government has recently enacted a law for welfare of elderlies (senior citizens and parents). This law creates provisions for maintenance, protection and security of elders.
(2) RTI Act (Right to Information Act) Tell them you know
Second appeals filed by senior citizens and differently abled persons under the Right to Information Act (RTI) are taken on a high priority basis, according to a directive of the Central Information Commission (CIC).
For, senior citizens and physically challenged if appeals are already pending with the CIC/SCIC, they should write to the CIC/SCIC about their status.
(3) Health Care
(a) There is provision for separate queues for senior citizens at hospitals and health care centres when they visit for any health related concerns or clinical examinations.
(b) The Delhi Government runs special clinics for Senior Citizens in most of its hospitals in Delhi.
(4) Finance & Taxation
(a) You are advised to refer to the Indian Income Tax Department for the current slabs of Income Tax including rebate admissible to senior citizens. As per recent finance budget 2008-09 (presented on 29th February, 2008) the threshold income when you start paying tax stands at Rs. 2.25 lakh per annum for senior citizens. In this case the qualifying age as specified by Income Tax Department is 65 years.
(b) The benefit of Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961 has been extended to the investments made under 5-Year Post Office Time Deposits Account and Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, with effect from 01.04.2007.
(a) Government also gives a higher rate of interest to senior citizens on certain Savings schemes which it runs through its large network of Post Offices (Senior Citizens Savings Scheme) and Public sector Banks. For further details you are advised to contact your nearest Bank or local Post Office.
(b) Some banks like State Bank of India charge only 50% of the applicable prescribed charges in respect of following services:
i) Issue of duplicate passbook/statement of account
ii) Issue of cheque books,
iii) Noting of standing instructions,
iv) Stop payment instructions,
v) Charges of non maintenance of minimum balance,
vi) Issue of balance certificate,
vii) Signature verification,
viii) Ledger folio charges
ix) Minimum balance requirement is also 50% for these class of customers.
Please check with your nearest Bank on what special facilities exist for Senior Citizens and Pensioners.
(a) Department of Telecommunications has made special provisions for senior citizens who apply for a new telephone connection. The department has earmarked separate priority category for senior citizens wherein they can apply for registration.
(b) In case of any complaint or fault with the telephone a senior citizen’s complaint is redressed on a priority basis.
(c) MTNL (Delhi) gives 25% discount in rentals (Tariff Plan-250 only) and installation to Senior Citizens who are 65 years or above in age. Please submit proof of age when applying to MTNL for availing this concession. Application form for a new connection (MTNL Delhi) in senior citizen category is available here.
(d) MTNL (Mumbai) has a Non-OYT-Special category for Senior Citizens aged 65 years or above. To apply for a new connection in Mumbai, senior citizens can fillthis application form. Whereas to avail senior citizen concession on an already existing telephone connection (MTNL Mumbai) this application form needs to be filled in.
Kindly note that these filled in forms are to be submitted to the MTNL offices in your city or sanchar haat. In case of any specific query you may also call toll freeMTNL Help line 1500 from any MTNL number.
(e) BSNL: I did not find any scheme with BSNL where concessions were admissible to senior citizens. I hope BSNL would consider such rebates soon.
(7) Travel by Indian Railways
(a) Travel by Indian Railways is 30% cheaper for all Senior Citizens who are 60 years in age or above, while women aged 60 years or above are entitled to 50%concession in fare. Indian Railways provides this fare concession to elderlies in all its trains including Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Jan Shatabdi trains. Kindly note that while travelling all Senior Citizens need to carry proof of their Date of Birth / Age with a Photo ID Card.
(b) There are separate Counters / Queues for Senior Citizens at all Railway Stations for purchase, booking or cancellation of tickets.
(c) Special arrangements are available for those who find it difficult to walk or move on their own. Wheel Chairs are available at all major junctions, District Headquarters and other important Railway stations for the convenience of Senior citizens and also for those who are in need.
(d) Indian Railways have recently introduced specially designed coaches which have provisions for hand rails and specially designed toilets for handicapped persons. These coaches also have space for wheel chairs.
(8) Travel by Airlines
(a) Senior Citizens are entitled to 50% discount on Economy Class fares on all flights of Indian Airlines subject to certain conditions.
(b) Air India gives 45% discount in economy class on domestic sectors to senior citizens (women aged 63+ and men aged 65+).
(c) Other Airlines operating in India also offer discounts to senior citizens. It is advisable to check with them before you plan your travel.
(9) Travel by Roadways (state transport)
(a) State Road Transport Undertakings have made provision for senior citizens for reservation of 2 seats in the front row of all buses.
(b) Some state governments also give concessions (in fare) to senior citizens, while some also have specially modelled buses for the elderlies.
(10) Court cases involving senior citizens
The Chief Justice of India has advised Chief Justices of all High Courts to accord priority to cases involving older persons and ensure their expeditious disposal. [vide letter of Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (SD Section), New Delhi, F. No. 20-76/99-SD dated 03.11.1999]