Nagpur: The Maharashtra Government on Tuesday agreed to lower the age of attaining senior citizenship from 65 years to 60 years in order to bring it on par with the central government.
"The decision will come into effect from March 2016," Minister for Social Justice Rajkumar Badole announced in the state Legislative Assembly in Nagpur.
During a discussion on the calling attention motion brought by Congress legislator Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and others, members cutting across party lines demanded that the state government should lower the age of citizenship to 60 years, on par with the Central Government.
"The government brought a Senior Citizen policy way back in 2013 and but it has not been implemented in letter and spirit," the members complained.
BJP member Medha Kulkarni, Congress MLAs Varsha Gaikwad, Madhukar Chavan, Nabi Abdul Sattar and others insisted that there was a need for pensionable age being reduced from 65 years to 60 years on par with Central Government's Indira Gandhi Pension Scheme.
Sensing the mood of the entire House, Badole agreed to bring it on par with Centre the age to 60 years and said it would be implemented from March 2016. Vijay Wadettiwar of Congress demanded that elders, those staying in government-recognised shelter home for elders, are getting a meagre help of Rs 900 per month for their clothing, meals, bedding and medicine which was quite insufficient. He demanded that it should be raised to Rs 2,000 per month.
Badole informed the House that there was a proposal to increase it to Rs 1,500 per month. Ashish Shelar of BJP sought to know whether the government has intends to observe World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and when the State Council for Older Persons would be set up.
Replying to that Badole said, "a decision regarding the Awareness day will be taken in three months and the Council will be set up within one month."