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Last Updated : Feb 29, 2016 05:13 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Mixed bag for the senior citizen

Though there is no hike in exemption limit for senior citizens, a fresh health insurance scheme is announced by finance minister. Also NPS withdrawals to the extent of 40% were made tax free.

Rising healthcare inflation has been cause of concern for many senior citizen. Falling interest rates further added to their woes. Hence senior citizens had high hopes from Union Budget 2016. While some of the initiatives are beneficial to the senior citizens there remains a list of expectations that did not materialize.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a launch of health protection scheme for families with a health cover of Rs 1 lakh. This scheme offers an additional top up of Rs 30000 for senior citizens. The Finance Minister also proposed to start a ‘National Dialysis Services Programme’. Funds will be made available through public private partnership mode under the National Health Mission, to provide dialysis services in all district hospitals. To reduce the cost, he proposed to exempt certain parts of dialysis equipment from basic customs duty, excise/countervailing duty and special additional duty. These initiatives are expected to benefit senior citizens.

Though there is no hike in the basic exemption limit for senior citizens, there is a positive development in Union Budget 2016. Withdrawal up to 40% of the accumulated amount from National Pension Scheme is made tax free. This should work for those who retire after 1st april 2016.

The senior citizens also asked for special schemes offering higher interest rates in the current scenario of falling interest. Though there is no such step taken in Union Budget 2016, Finance Minister has avoided reducing interest rates on existing Senior Citizen Penion Scheme, which was widely expected.
First Published on Feb 25, 2016 04:22 pm