The eyes of the elderly are fixed on this year’s budget regarding pension. Many organizations working for the welfare of the elderly have expected the government to increase the social pension to three thousand and provide other facilities in the budget to be presented on February 1.
New Delhi: On February 1, the Union Finance Minister will present the budget in Parliament. Almost all the preparations have been completed regarding this. The eyes of the elderly are fixed on this year’s budget regarding pension. Let us tell you that due to lack of social and economic security cover to a large population of elderly people in the country, they are on target of epidemic like Korana. Many organizations working for the welfare of these sections have expected the government to increase the social pension to three thousand and provide other facilities in the budget to be presented on February 1. Let us tell you that at present the population of elderly people in the country is 14 crores.
Demand for many facilities for the elderly
These demands range from the areas of income, social security, health and old age care to skill training for the elderly and setting up equipment centers for older people. Apart from this, creating an enabling environment for the elderly, providing GST exemption on products used by the elderly such as adult diapers, medicines and health equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers etc.
There is also a demand to increase the pension
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) has done commendable work to bring minimum health security to the needy people. It is expected that the Center will take the initiative in setting up a minimum social pension of Rs 3,000 per month for the poor elderly across the country. Apart from this, work should also be done to increase the central contribution from Rs 200 (unchanged for 14 years) to at least Rs 1,000 per month.
Rohit Prasad, CEO, HelpAge India said, “The accelerated implementation with dedicated funds for the National Program for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) is another important step needed to bring about comprehensive geriatric care.
Prime Minister’s self-employment scheme also suggested
Reiterating the demand for increasing old age pension, Edgewell Foundation suggested a scheme to re-engage seniors to tap the potential of the elderly. It says that those who have experience, knowledge, knowledge, resources, time and still the zeal to work should be given a chance to move forward. In this the name of the proposed scheme – Pradhan Mantri Self-Employment Scheme (PM SSRSC) for retired and senior citizens has also been suggested.
‘Need to connect the elderly with the mainstream’
Himanshu Rath, Founder-Chairman, Agewell Foundation said, “Today, elderly persons are facing different types of challenges. Making elderly-friendly budgetary provisions will certainly play a vital role in ensuring the welfare and well-being of the growing population. There is a need to bring more and more opportunities and mainstream of older persons and elders in the country.
Both the organizations have called for taking steps towards meeting the demands citing new surveys/studies. Based on its January 2022 survey conducted among 5,000 elderly people across the country, the Edgewell Foundation found that budgetary provisions can address issues relating to older persons to a great extent.