Budget 2020

‘Old is Gold’ in young India

The cash flows of senior citizens depend heavily on interest income.

The cash flows of senior citizens depend heavily on interest income.  

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Deduction for health insurance premium raised from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000

The salaried class may feel hard done by and the young may not see a swift surge in employment opportunities as a result of the Budget proposals. However, the Modi government, which will face elections next year, has made sure it will have the blessings of elders.

“A life with dignity is a right of every individual, in general, more so for the senior citizens,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech.

“To take care of those who cared for us is one of the highest honours,” he stressed, before laying out a series of steps to give them a ‘dignified life.’

Top government sources said the specific measures outlined to alleviate the lot of senior citizens were based on the feedback from retired persons on the crisis they faced in recent months owing to the dipping interest rates on savings instruments, including on small savings schemes.

Mr. Jaitley made an effort to ease the cash flows of senior citizens that are largely dependent on interest income. The exemption limit on interest income on bank and post office deposits has been raised from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000 a year.

The deduction available for health insurance premium and medical expenditure has been raised from ₹30,000 to ₹50,000. Deductions for medical expenditure on certain critical illnesses have been hiked to ₹1 lakh for all senior citizens, up from the prevailing levels of ₹60,000 for senior citizens and ₹80,000 for very senior citizens.

While these concessions are worth ₹4,000 crore, the government also extended the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March 2020, which assures an 8% return, and raised the investment cap from ₹7.5 lakh to ₹15 lakh.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 1:29:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/old-is-gold-in-young-india/article22626459.ece

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