Letters of the Hon’ble Prime Minister on the Budget to Senior Citizens
Prime Minister- 31 March 2015
My Dear Elders,
Many of you belong to that privileged generation which has had the honour of contributing to both India’s independence, as well as its consequent nation building. We are what we are today because of you. And for this, we are all deeply proud and eternally indebted to you.
Thus, it is the nation’s responsibility to look after you. This is but a mere continuation of India’s ethos of ‘respect for elders’ – our Bharatiyata. At this juncture, you have simple needs. You look forward to a peaceful and healthy life.And a life of dignity and respect, where you do not have to depend on others. My government has come up with a number of initiatives to support you in the same. Several schemes have been rolled out over the past year, while many more have been announced inthis years’ budget.
I am aware of how critical financial security is to a life of comfort and dignity in old age. We have taken a number of steps to support you in this. For those of you above 60 years who have some savings, we have revived the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana. Based on an initial contribution, this will provide you a monthly pension for 15 years, where-after you are returned the original amount as well. For instance, you can enjoy a pension of Rs 5,ooo per month for 15 years, from an initial contribution of Rs 6,66,665, which itself is refunded at the end. A Senior Citizen Welfare Fund is also being set up for subsidizing premiums of old age pensioners, BPLfamilies and small and marginal farmers.
I know you continue to remain concerned about the well being of your family in case anything happens to you. We have thus structured the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana to provide you an accident insurance of Rs 2lakhs at a mere Rs 1per month premium.
Tax payers amongst you have been given tax benefits. The rebate in income tax towards health insurance premium has been increased from Rs 20,000 to Rs 3o,ooo. For very senior citizens over Bo years old who are not covered by health insurance, a deduction of Rs 3o,ooo towards medical treatment expenses has been allowed. Also, deduction for expenditure on specified diseases of serious nature has been raised from Rs 6o,ooo to Rs 8o,ooo.
Moreover, you will have by now gotten bank accounts through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. This enables you to receive money from your children and relatives with ease and without cost. You will soon also start getting government benefits directly into them, cutting out all middle men and leakages. Furthermore, you can also use these accounts to get loans up to Rs 5,000 for your needs.
A number of other schemes have also been started, such as providing Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices for senior citizens living below the poverty line.
All the above schemes and programs announced in the budget will be rolled out in near future. I urge you to take full advantage of the same. My foremost wish is to repay the debt the India owes you. My Government is thus committed to ensuring that golden years are spent happily, peacefully and meaningfully. I am confident that you will continue playing an important role in national development . As always, I seek your continued blessings …
With folded hands.
Narendra Modi (Source- finmin.nic.in)