NITI Aayog Proposes Tax Reforms, Savings, Elderly Housing

NITI Aayog Proposes Tax Reforms, Savings, Elderly Housing

NITI Aayog, the government think tank, has proposed a series of reforms to enhance the quality of life and well-being of the elderly population in India, which is projected to reach 19.5 per cent of the country’s population by 2050. In a report titled ‘Senior Care Reforms in India – Reimagining the Senior Care Paradigm’, NITI Aayog has suggested tax and legal reforms, mandatory saving plan, and housing plan for elderly, among other measures.

NITI Aayog : Tax and legal reforms

The report has recommended a regulatory mechanism to set a viable base rate for the interest accrued on senior citizen deposits, as most seniors depend on the income generated from their savings. It has also suggested giving a further concession to older women to contribute to their financial well-being.

The report has also called for reassessing the reverse mortgage mechanism to increase liquidity for seniors and making necessary amendments to the current reverse mortgage rules. Moreover, it has advocated for tax and GST reforms on senior care products to increase the ease of adoption and safeguard the elderly population from the financial burden.

Mandatory saving plan

The report has emphasised the need for a mandatory saving plan for the affording segment of the elderly population, as the social security framework in India is limited. It has proposed that a certain percentage of income should be compulsorily saved by individuals above 40 years of age in a separate account, which can be used only after retirement. The report has also suggested that the government should provide incentives and subsidies to encourage saving behaviour among the elderly.

Housing plan for elderly

The report has highlighted the importance of providing adequate and affordable housing facilities for the elderly, especially those who are living alone or with disabilities. It has suggested that the government should promote the development of senior living communities, assisted living facilities, and co-living spaces for the elderly, with appropriate standards and regulations. The report has also recommended that the government should facilitate access to home modification loans and subsidies for the elderly to make their homes more age-friendly and accessible.

Other recommendations by NITI Aayog

The report has also made several other recommendations to improve the health, social, economic, and digital empowerment and inclusion of the elderly in India. Some of these include:

  • Developing a national portal for senior care to provide easy access to services and information for the elderly
  • Earmarking CSR funds as a contribution to national funds for care provided to the non-affording category of the elderly
  • Developing partnerships with the private sector through various PPP models to encourage private medical care at discounted prices to senior persons
  • Fueling innovations in senior care through incubation centres, hackathons, and challenge grants
  • Creating awareness and sensitisation campaigns on senior care issues among various stakeholders

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