Monday, December 10, 2012

Indifference of Planning Commission towards Senior Citizens

Dear Friends
I am giving below an article written by Sri RN Mital, President of All
India Senior Citizens Confederation.
It is important that we should raise a unified voice against the
indifference of Planning Commission.I request you to reproduce it
extensively in your websites, blogs, discussion groups etc. Pl
circulate it among your friends. Ask them to write to the Planing
Commission to change their stance and provide meaningful
recommendations to the government.

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
040-27846631 / 9490804278.

Indifference of Planning Commission towards Senior Citizens

(RN Mital, President, AISCCON)

Indifferent Planning Commission - We are all aware of the fact that
the major reason for imperfect implementation by the States/UT's of
the NPOP 99 was inadequate or nil budgetary support. It happened in
spite of our repeated representations to GOI, and was largely due to
the indifference on part of the Planning Commission and the Ministry
of Finance.

Now we have another shocker: according to media reports Planning
Commission has recently turned down MOSJE's proposal of building old
age homes as mandated in the MWPSC ACT 2007. In a letter on October 30
to Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Hon'ble Kumari Selja, the
Vice Chairman of Planning Commission Sri Montek Ahluwalia has opined
that the activity to construct old age homes for indigent senior
citizens, did not fall under Central Government's domain and that it
would be appropriate if this activity is run by state governments

The claim that the construction of OAH does not fall in the Central
Govt domain is not fully justified because otherwise how could Shri
Chidambram allot Rs 200Crore for assistance to States to construct OAH
in the budget for 2008 [or 09?] which was reduced to 100 Crores in
2010-11 but remained unutilized?.

In fact for the 11th 5 year plan a centrally sponsored scheme was
worked out by MOSJE to build 300 OAH at the cost of Rs 635 Crores. But
as the Planning Commission thought fit to allot only 60 crores for
this purpose the scheme was recast and it was decided to build only
100 homes within the grant available. Even this scheme was rejected by
the Commission. It is learnt that for the 12thPlan the Working group
of MOSJE recommended again 640 OAH to be established in districts at
the cost of 1680 Crores in partnership with the States which also is
not acceptable to the Commission

Most of the States neither have the political will nor resources to
take up construction of OAH in all districts unless they are helped.
This is the reason why not a single Old Age Home has come up during
the last 6 years in any district under the mandate of the above Act.

In the policy document of the 12th Plan the Commission has emphasized
that the concept of "Ageing in place" should be promoted and that the
institutional care should be the last resort. It is accepted that
"ageing in place" is a good concept but it is applicable to
comparatively the well to do category and not to the indigent senior
citizens for whom the above facilities are required.

According to a report in The Hindu on an average two old persons are
found abandoned daily in Chennai. They are abandoned on high ways, in
religious places or hospitals when their families feel that they have
become a burden. We do not have figures for the whole Country but it
must be in hundreds. The Old Age Homes are needed for them and it will
be very unfortunate if funds even for this activity are denied by the
Planning Commission. It is nothing but sheer neglect of the Senior
Citizens in our Country.


1 comment:

  1. Pl see my letter to Smt Soniaji below:
    To 10-12-12.
    Smt Sonia Gandhi,
    Charperson, National Advisory Council,
    2 Motilal Nehru Place, New Delhi-110011.

    Sub: Draft 12th Five Year Plan to be discussed on 27-12-12.

    According to News, Planning Commission has turned down the proposal of Ministry Of Social Justice to provide Old Age Homes for destitute Senior Citizens at district level as Central Scheme on the plea that this involves non-recurring expenditure only and as such States have to provide funds and not the Planning Commission. In the final draft also, Planning Commission has insisted on States to provide funds for this huge work.This scheme of providing Old Age Homes for destitutes is statutorily provided in Sec 19 of Maintenance & Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 and Rules framed there under. 150 destitutes in such Homes are to be provided from day one, nutritious & wholesome diet; adequate clothing from time to time; linens, sanitation, hygiene, security arrangements; transport to nearby hospitals; premiums for health insurance; electricity, fans, heating arrangements during winter; recreation facilities; televisions, newspapers, books; managing staff etc. All these require recurring expenditure much more than initial non-recurring expenditure of providing Homes. Argument of Planning Commission that this involves only non-recurring expenditure is apparently not correct.
    Working Group on Social Defence constituted by Planning Commission for formulation of 11th Plan had recommended to transfer this to Plan Head to facilitate establishment of Old Age Homes on large scale. Ministry of Social Justice had also formulated the Scheme to construct 300 such Homes at a cost of Rs 635 crore during 11 th Plan. This was not accepted by Planning Commission, though Rs 60 crore was provided in 11th Plan Period and matter was postponed for discussion in Working Group of 12th Plan!! Planning Commission was not interested to facilitate provision made in Statutory Act, 2007!!
    Working Group of 12th Plan examined the whole issue in depth and not only recommended funds for generation of Awareness of this Act, 2007 but also Rs 1680 crore for assisting States to discharge their statutory duties of providing Old Age Homes during 12th Plan. Para 93 of National Policy, 99 also lays down that Planning Commission & Finance Ministry will facilitate budgetary provisions required for implementation of the Policy, 99. Act, 2007 is the outcome of this Policy, 99 and Planning Commission cannot deny the provision of sufficient funds even to States/UTs for this noble cause statutorily provided in Centrally Sponsored Act, 2007 for benefit of 3546.8 lakh BPL Elders of the Country. If not provided, no Homes will be constructed by States/Uts as not done since 2007 to 2012!! As repeatedly brought to your notice for last 3 years of our agitations, large number of provisions of NPOP, 99 are not implemented by stake holders & States due to unhelpful attitude of Planning Commission & Finance Ministry in not providing funds, as laid down in Policy, 99.
    We request You as one of us as well as Chair Person of NAC to look in to this unhelpful attitude of Planning Commission and get sufficient funds provided for your 12 crore Elders in 12th Plan.
    Thanking you,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Copy to Shri Monteksingh Ahluwalia, Dy Chairman, Planning Commission,
    Yojna Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi. 110001.