13 years after the union government framed its policies for senior citizens, the state is finally prepared to finalise its policies for senior citizens ensuring their financial security, access to healthcare and housing.
The CM announced the decision the state would be taking while speaking at Anand Melava, an event organized by the city-based Janseva Foundation on the occasion of World Elderly Day. He said that through the policies, the state government would increase the age of retirement to 60 for its employees. The present age for retirement of state government employees is 58.
“The state government will also ensure that senior citizens would not have to wait till 65 years of age to enjoy the benefits that they are entitled to. However, unless the judicial process is completed, the new policies regarding senior citizens would not be declared,” Chavan said.
The CM believes that the judicial procedures would be finished before Diwali. As per the 2011 census, 1 crore people of its 11 crore population are above 60 years of age. Of these, 47 per cent are men and 53 per cent women.
Chavan added that the state would make sure that its policies for senior citizens would make it mandatory to have entertainment centres at every township. “It would become compulsory for builders to construct an entertainment centre in each township, otherwise their project would not be passed by the state government,” Chavan said.
Describing the special provisions for senior citizens who are below poverty line, the CM said that senior citizens with a yearly income below Rs 1 lakh and fighting acute diseases, would get free treatment in various hospitals.
BJP MLA Girish Bapat, who was on a one-day hunger strike outside the Ganesh Kala Krida auditorium yesterday where Chavan was attending Anand Melava, demanded that the state government immediately announce the policies for senior citizens. “The announcement of policies is pending since 2004. The state government had promised to announce the policies today, but then again announced that it would be happening before Diwali,” Bapat said. He warned that if the state government failed to announce the senior citizens policies by the end of November, the BJP would hold mass protests against the state government.