CONCESSIONS AND FACILITIES GIVEN TO SENIOR CITIZENS BY DIFFERENT MINISTRIES / DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT
- 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 covering all concerns pertaining to the welfare of older persons. The National Policy on Older Persons recognizes a person aged 60 years and above as a senior citizen.
- The Ministry is also implementing following schemes for the benefit of Senior Citizens: (a) An Integrated Programme for Older Persons (Plan Scheme) – This Scheme 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. (b) 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 (Non Plan Scheme) - Under this Scheme, one time construction grant for Old Age Homes/Multi-Service Centre is provided to non-governmental organizations on the recommendation of the State Governments/ UT Administrations.
- Ministry of Finance: Income tax rebate upto an income of Rs. 3.00 lakh p.a. Higher rates of interest on saving schemes of senior citizens. A Senior Citizens Savings Scheme offering an interest rate is 9% per annum on the deposits made by the senior citizens in post offices has been introduced by the Government through Post Offices in India doing savings bank work.
- Ministry of Road Transport and Highways: i) Reservation of two seats for senior citizens in front row of the buses of the State Road Transport Undertakings. ii) Some State Governments are giving fare concession to senior citizens in the State Road Transport Undertaking buses and are introducing Bus Models, which are convenient to the elderly.
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare: Separate queues for older persons in hospitals for registration and clinical examination.
- Department of Telecommunications: i) Faults/complaints of senior citizens are given priority by registering them under senior citizens category with VIP flag, which is a priority category.ii) Senior citizens are allowed to register telephone connection under N-OYT Special Category, which is a priority category.
- Ministry of Railways: a) Indian Railways provide 30% fare concession in all Mail/Express including Rajdhani/Shatabadi/Jan Shatabadi trains for senior citizens aged 60 years and above. b) Indian Railways also have the facility of separate counters for Senior Citizens for purchase/booking/cancellation of tickets. c) Wheel Chairs for use of older persons are available at all junctions, District Headquarters and other important stations for the convenience of needy persons including the older persons. d) Ramps for wheel chairs movement are available at the entry to important stations. e) Specially designed coaches with provisions of space for wheel chairs, hand rail and specially designed toilet for handicapped persons have been introduced.
- Ministry of Civil Aviation: 1. Indian Airlines is providing 50 per cent Senior Citizen Discount on Normal Economy Class fare for all domestic flights to Indian senior citizens who have completed the age of 65 years in the case of male senior citizens and 63 years in the case of female senior citizens subject to certain conditions.2. Air India is offering discount to senior citizens of 60 plus on flights to USA , UK and Europe . Further, Air India has now decided to reduce the age of 60 plus for discount on their domestic routes as well with immediate effect. 3. Sahara Airlines is offering 50% discount on basic fare for travel on its domestic flights only to senior citizens who have attained the age of 62 years. Discount is applicable in economy class only.
- Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution: i) Under the Antyodaya Scheme, the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families which also include older persons are provided food grains at the rate of 35 kgs. per family per month. The food grains are issued @ Rs.3/- per kg. for rice and Rs.2/- per kg. for wheat. The persons aged 60 years above from the BPL category were given priority for identification. (ii) Under the Annapoorna Scheme being implemented by the States/UT Administration, 10 kgs. of food grains per beneficiary per month are provided free of cost to those senior citizens who remain uncovered under the old age pension scheme. iii) Instructions to State Governments for giving priority to the Ration Card holders who are over 60 years of age in Fair Price Shops for issue of rations.
- Miscellaneous: (i) Courts in the country accord priority to cases involving older persons and ensures their expeditious disposal. (ii) Under the Old Age Pension Scheme, monthly pension is given at variable rates to the destitute old by various State Governments/UT Administrations.
Source : http://socialjustice.nic.in/social/sdcop/consd.htm