M.V.Ruparelia, Senior Citizen of 81, Chief Patron, All India Senior Citizens Confederation (AISCCON). A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (E). District Thane, Maharashtra. 401 107. M.09821732855. E/Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To Date: 22-6-14.
Shri Arun Jaitleyji, Hon Minister of Finance,
Ministry of Finance, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi-110101.
Sub: Framing of General Budget for 2014-15 to be presented on 11-7-14.
Our Culture respects our Elders and Our Finance Minister is one of us and as such Senior Citizens of our Country consider that they will be well-looked after by proper provisions in the ensuing Budget, keeping in view promises given to Elders in BJP Election Manifesto. We request to consider the following issues:-
i) As Budget is very important document and whole Nation listens Budget Speeches, we request you to lay down a procedure that Finance Minister speaks something in his every Budget Speech about Senior Citizens bringing out the position of senior citizens prevailing in the Country during the year and provisions made for them during the year. This healthy practice will create an atmosphere in the entire Country- Society and Media also- to respect their Elders.
ii) We request you to increase standard deduction of Income Tax for Senior Citizens, keeping in view high cost of medical & nursing care, transportation & support services needed at home and the fact that they do not use common services etc provided by government. All senior citizens may be exempted from Income Tax or higher limit fixed for them or at least Pension may be made tax free. Similarly, we request you to revise rate of monthly pension to BPL with provision to revise it at intervals so that inflation does not deflate its real purchasing power. Present contribution of Central Government for I.G.N.Pension at Rs 200 p.m. is a mockery of human beings! It is necessary to give relief to pensioners by merging 50% DA with Pension and giving some interim relief to meet with abnormal inflation.
iii) National Policy, 99 provides for higher rates of interest on savings of senior citizens to assure them that payment at the end of stipulated periods are attractive enough to take care of likely erosion in purchasing power. Reserve Bank has authorized all Banks to formulate fixed deposit schemes for senior citizens, offering higher & fixed rates of interest. State Bank of India pays ¼% extra, which is nothing but mockery of Elders. We request you to fix proper higher rates and get all Banks pay them. Most of the Elders retired before 1996 have meager savings due to meager settlement dues and are dependent on earnings from interest on such meager savings. Our Elders have fought for Independence and have played very important role in bringing present financial prosperity of the Country and deserve special treatment for their wellbeing by getting them higher interest on their savings, keeping in view increasing inflation.
iv) Under Sec 80D, deduction of Rs 5000 is allowed for preventive check up. This limit may kindly be increased considerably; as such checkups, consultations with specialists and pathological checkups are very costly. Such limit may be raised sufficiently high or separately fixed per individual like self, spouse etc for senior citizens.
v) Senior Citizens, especially 80+ may be treated as disabled for purpose of Sec 80 DD or similar provision may be made for them.
vi) Scope of Sec 80 DDD may please be expanded to include very expensive diseases requiring lifelong medicines worth Rs 3-5 thousand per month like Heart, Diabetes, IPF etc.
vii) Deduction of Rs 10000 under Sec TTA for interest on Savings Bank Accounts may please be allowed on all types of Bank Interest like Fixed Deposit etc, as no one would keep big amounts in Savings Bank giving meager rate of 3-4 %.
viii) Limit of Rs 1 lakh on various investments under Sec 80C may please be increased considerably for better savings for future.
ix) Provide sufficient funds for implementation of all the 4 Policies (NPOP, 99; Maintenance Act, 2007; IPOP, 2008 and NPHCE, 2010) of the Government for Welfare of Senior Citizens.
x) National Policy, 99 has laid down that the development of Health Insurance will be given high priority and various reliefs and concessions will be given to make it affordable. IRDA under their letter no. 3/IRDA/Health/SN/SRCC/09-10 dt 25-5-09 to Finance Ministry had recommended to give subsidy of Rs 2000 or any amount that may be fixed by Finance Ministry for every policy taken by Senior Citizen, relating the level of subsidy being afforded to the Below Poverty Line population etc. This may please be done early.
xi) National Policy had also laid down creation of Welfare Fund for Senior Citizens. This may please be done.
With Blessings from all Elders of the Country,