Limited Succor: Budget 2018 – And Senior Citizens

Limited Succor: –  Budget 2018 – And Senior Citizens

Relevancy

  • G.S. Paper 2
  • Incentives announces for senior citizens in budget 2018

Recently:

  • The Finance ministry in this year’s budget focused on providing economic support for India’s growing population of senior citizens.

What are the Incentives announced for Senior Citizens?

  • Government announced several tax and related incentives to ease the financial burden on people aged 60 and above.
  • These steps are very welcome given that the elderly face steeply escalating health-care costs on declining real interest and pension incomes.
  • Government announced a five-fold increase in the exemption limit on interest income from savings, fixed and recurring deposits held with banks and post offices to Rs. 50,000 and done away with the requirement for tax to be deducted at source on such income.
  • These are welcome steps given that the elderly face steeply escalating health-care costs on declining real interest and pension incomes.
  • Another useful tax change is the proposal to raise the annual income tax deduction limit for health insurance premium and/or medical reimbursement to Rs. 50,000 for all seniors.
  • And a crucially allied step is the move to set the ceiling for deduction in lieu of expenses incurred on certain critical illnesses to Rs. 1 lakh, irrespective of the age of the senior citizen.
  • The budget also proposed extending the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana by two years, up to March 2020, and doubled the cap on investment in the scheme to Rs. 15 lakh

What should be the focus?

  • With more than 70% of the 104 million elderly living in the rural areas, any serious initiative to improve the condition of senior citizens must incorporate adequate budgetary support
  • The Budget provisions Rs. 6,565 crore for the pension scheme for the elderly poor
  • But its outlay for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment’s assistance to voluntary organisations for programmes relating to the ‘aged’ at Rs. 60 crore is starkly inadequate

What could be done in the future?

  • The number of the elderly in India is set to surge by 2050 to almost 300 million, or about a fifth of the population, hence the governments need to make more comprehensive efforts to address the nation’s greying demographic.

 

 Budget 2018 – Budget 2018 – Budget 2018 – Budget 2018

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