Am I a senior citizen
As per a report, the number of senior citizens in India is close to 80 million and is growing by the day. In another two decades, it is expected to touch 137 million, due to rising life expectancy. But who is a senior citizen? Different ministries of Govt define senior citizens in different manner.
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is the nodal Ministry responsible for welfare of the Senior Citizens. The National Policy on Older Persons confers the status of senior citizen to a person who has attained the age of 60 years. The maintenance and Welfare of parents and Senor Citizens Act, 2007, defined a senior citizen as a person being a citizen of India, who has attained the age of sixty years or more.
Ministry of Rural Development, under the National Old Age Pension Scheme (now stands transferred to the State Plan), provides central assistance of Rs. 75/- p.m. to destitute older persons above 65 years. Under the Annapurna Scheme, free food grains (wheat or rice) upto 10 kg. per month are provided to destitute older persons 65 years or above who are otherwise eligible for old age pension but are not receiving it.
Finance Act, 1992, provides income tax rebate of upto Rs. 15,000 or actual tax whichever is less to senior citizens who have attained the age of 65 years at any time during the relevant previous year.
Indian Railways provide 30% concession in all classes and trains including Rajdhani/Shatabadi trains for senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
Indian Airlines/Jet Airways are providing 50 per cent discount on basic fare for all domestic flights in Economy Class to senior citizens having the age of 65 years. Sahara India Airlines is providing 50 per cent discount to senior citizens having the age of 62years.
Telephone connection is given on priority to senior citizens of age 65 years and above by the Ministry of Telecommunications.
I am a citizen of India. I am about to reach 62 years. But I am a senior citizen under some law and not a senior citizen under some other law. What a funny situation.