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Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced her maiden budget on July 5, 2019 and the first of the Modi Government in its second term. While the salaried class are still being taxed as usual, the people who have benefitted most are older adults.

Last year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had mentioned that you caring for those who cared for us is the “highest honour”. Keeping with the tradition, the current Finance Minister has also offered a variety of benefits for senior citizens.

Also Read: Policies and programs for elderly that you need to know

Here are some highlights to note:

1. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan: The Central Government has launched this pension scheme this year. This is for the workers in the unorganized sector like construction workers. Under this scheme, these workers will get a pension of Rs. 3000 per month after 60 years of age. With a small contribution of Rs. 100 per month, these workers can avail the pension benefit.

2. Tax exemption: A huge relief for senior citizens in the form of tax exemption has been granted. The tax exemption limit on the income from interest in bank savings has been raised from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000. This includes the interest income from fixed deposits and recurring deposits. No tax will be deducted at source (TDS) on such income. As most of the elderly depend on these savings after retirement, this waiver will benefit them hugely.

3. Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana: LIC of India has a scheme in place since 2017 for older adults. Under this scheme, a pensioner will be able to avail of monetary benefits after retirement. After death, the remaining amount is paid to the family. The amount for this scheme has been raised from 7.5 lakhs to 15 lakhs.

4. Health Insurance Premium: Another beneficial move for senior citizens this year is the deduction on health insurance premium has been raised to Rs. 50,000 from Rs. 30,000 that was existing. In addition, the deduction of medical expenses for certain critical illnesses has been raised to Rs 1 lakh for all senior citizens. As medical expenses tend to be very high, such high deductions will encourage older adults to take care of their health and manage medical bills.

5. Higher Fund Allotment to the Ayushman Bharat Scheme: Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) was launched in 2018 under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in India. This scheme was to create care systems to address healthcare.

Under this scheme, a family is eligible for healthcare coverage of up to Rs. 5 lakhs. This year, the finance minister allotted a total of Rs. 62.659.12 crore for the health sector, the highest in the last two fiscal years. Of this, Rs. 6,400 crore is set aside for AB-PMJAY. Rs. 249.96 crores are allotted for setting up Wellness Centres under the National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) scheme, while Rs. 1,349.97 crores have been allotted to set up Wellness Centres under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme. By 2022, nearly 1.5 lakh primary health centers will be converted into health and wellness centers, equipped to treat diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other age-related illnesses.

Also Read: Here’s All About the New Norms in Health Coverage by IRDAI

This is a great budget from an older adult’s point of view. It gives senior citizens great incentives. One main cause of concern in the elderly is ill health and the resulting medical bills. In a country like India, where insurances are rare, this budget will bring along a wave of hope among older adults.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Senior citizens, especially old n ailing people will undoubtedly largely benefit from this older people-friendly budget. But I wish nd pray ardently to Merciful God ( and I personally, a storehouse of diseases, with mobility gone nd also a victim of few neurological incurable ailments that need constant medical care , day nd night hv been suffering from terrible mental agony nd stress nd anxiety because of such unkind law ) if a particular law could be amended if not in my lifetime but for the similarly affected persons, in near future ( the sooner, the better- that’s my urgent nd agonised plea to the present Government. The Present law that I hv been referring to is that if one lives outside of the area covered for Central Govt medical aids and other benefits, then that person Nd his or her family are deprived of all benefits granted by the Central Govt even if an employee may hv served his entire lifetime beginning from the age of twenty and even if someone’s personal Hist remains ( and that is widely known) that he has sacrificed a lot of personal interests for the larger interests. Old, crippled, immobile people like him and his spouse Nd family are suffering tremendously for that with no guts left with them for going for essential treatments that involves a whole lot of medical expenses.
    Will any kind soul in the Parliament will propose amendments of such horrendous rules to eliminate great physical nd mental sufferings and unjust rules that are unkind to some particular category of affected senior citizens including aged, infirm nd invalid who , for no fault of their own hv become victims of such unjustified laws.

  2. My above post perhaps has remained a bit vague. So I am specifying. My husband retired as a professor from Allahabad University. As a retired employee of a Central University, he is entitled to certain medical subsidies. But he is denied these benefits because he now lives outside the city of Allahabad. We now live in Kolkata. This rule of denying retired employees living outside Allahabad is unjust. May the appropriate Govt. agency please look into the matter.

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