Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Ministry responsible for welfare of the Senior Citizens. It has framed 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 the Integrated Programme for Older Persons scheme. Under the Scheme, financial assistance is provided to Government/ Non-Governmental Organizations/Panchayati Raj Institutions/ local bodies etc. for running and maintenance of various projects for the welfare of indigent Senior Citizens under the Scheme of IPOP.
Ministry of Finance
An individual resident who is 60 years or above in age but less than 80 years at any time during the previous year is considered as Senior Citizen for Income Tax purposes. A Super Senior Citizen is an individual resident who is 80 years or above, at any time during the previous year.
The exemption limit granted to senior citizen and very senior citizen for the AY 2022-2023 is as follows :
Senior citizen (Age 60 years or more but less than 80 years): A senior citizen is granted a higher exemption limit compared to non-senior citizens. The exemption limit under the old tax regime is Rs. 3,00,000 and in the new tax regime is Rs 2,50,000. For details, click here.
Very senior citizen (of age above 80 years) : A very senior citizen is granted a higher exemption limit compared to others. The exemption limit under the old tax regime is Rs. 5,00,000 and in the new tax regime is Rs 2,50,000. For details, click here.
Exemption from e-filing. Section 194P of the Income Tax Act, 1961 provides conditions for exempting Senior Citizens from filing income tax returns aged 75 years and above. It is applicable from 1st April 2021. Conditions for exemption:
Senior Citizen should be of age 75 years or above
Senior Citizen should be ‘Resident’ in the previous year
Senior Citizen has pension income and interest income only & interest income accrued / earned from the same specified bank in which he is receiving his pension
Exemption from payment of advance tax : As per section 208, every person whose estimated tax liability for the year is Rs. 10,000 or more, shall pay his tax in advance, in the form of "advance tax". However, section 207 gives relief from payment of advance tax to a resident senior citizen. As per section 207 a resident senior citizen (i.e., an individual of the age of 60 years or above during the relevant financial year) not having any income from business or profession, is not liable to pay advance tax.
Section 80TTB of the Income Tax law gives provisions relating to tax benefits available on account of interest income from deposits with banks or post office or co-operative banks of an amount upto Rs. 50,000 earned by the senior citizen (i.e., an individual of the age of 60 years or above). Interest earned on saving deposits and fixed deposit, both shall be eligible for deduction under this provision.
Section 194A of the Income Tax law gives corresponding provisions that no tax shall be deducted at source from payment of interest to a senior citizen up to Rs. 50,000.
Income tax rebate for Medical Treatment for Specified Diseases for Senior Citizens (U/S 80 DDB)
Income tax rebate for Medical Insurance Premium for Senior Citizens. (U/S 80 D)
Higher rates of interest on saving schemes of senior citizens.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
Reservation of two seats for senior citizens in front row of the buses of the State Road Transport Undertakings.
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.
The Senior Citizens Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS) as top up over existing Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) scheme is being implemented for senior citizens aged 60 years and above. SCHIS provides enhanced coverage of Rs. 30,000 per senior citizen in the family eligible for coverage under RSBY). RSBY is a centrally sponsored health insurance scheme being implemented by this Ministry which covers BPL families (a unit of five) and 11 other defined categories. Enrolled beneficiaries are entitled for health insurance coverage of Rs.30,000/- cashless per annum per family.
Department of Telecommunications
Faults/complaints of senior citizens are given priority by registering them under senior citizens category with VIP flag, which is a priority category.
Senior citizens are allowed to register telephone connection under N-OYT Special Category, which is a priority category.
Ministry of Railways
Indian Railways provide fare concession in all Mail / Express including Rajdhani / Shatabadi / Jan Shatabadi trains for senior citizens aged Female - 58 years and Male 60 years and above. The element of concession is 40 % for Male and 50 % for female. The concession is however put on hold since COVID period.
Indian Railways also have the facility of separate counters for Senior Citizens for purchase / booking / cancellation of tickets.
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.
Ramps for wheel chairs movement are available at the entry to important stations.
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
Most Airlines are 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 60 years, subject to certain conditions.
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.
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.
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.
Courts in the country accord priority to cases involving older persons and ensures their expeditious disposal.
Under the Old Age Pension Scheme, monthly pension is given at variable rates to the destitute old by various State Governments/UT Administrations.
The 1st October is observed every year as the International Day of Older Persons internationally. Being the nodal Ministry for the welfare of senior citizens, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has been celebrating the occasion every year by organizing a series of programmes and felicitating the distinguished senior citizens with Vayoshrestha Samman. The main idea behind these celebrations is to reiterate the government's commitment towards welfare of the elderly and to ensure that the services rendered by the elderly get its due recognition in the society.