Punjab government to start welfare fund for elderly people

The government of Punjab plans to start a welfare fund for the elderly people in the state.

The fund will be made up of tax-free contributions from Punjabis living outside India and other people who want to contribute.

The state also plans to set up separate outpatient departments (OPDs) for the elderly at government hospitals. Presently, most hospitals have a separate queue for senior citizens, besides a geriatric clinic at a few hospitals.

The Punjab government also plans to ensure that at the time of retirement, a retiree gets all financial benefits such as gratuity and pension immediately. If there is a delay, action will be taken against the government official concerned.

There are plans to provide affordable housing to senior citizens. As per official data, there are 28 lakh senior citizens in Punjab.

The Punjab government is also setting up one-member tribunals at the sub-divisional level throughout the state to make sure that the provisions of the Punjab Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act are followed.

According to the Act, parents and senior citizens above 60 years of age can now legally demand financial assistance from their wards

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