The government has set up a Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, which will use the unclaimed money from PPF accounts, employees provident funds and small saving schemes, for the welfare of senior citizens in the country.
The fund will provide financial security to senior citizens, with healthcare facilities, health insurance, pension, welfare of elderly women etc. Schemes related to old-age homes and day-care for senior citizens will also be funded by the same.
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In Budget 2015-2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that a fund using such unclaimed deposits will be created. The unclaimed amount is about Rs. 3,000 crore in the PPF accounts, and Rs. 6,000 crore in EPF accounts. According to reports, unclaimed amounts from Post Office Savings accounts, Public Provident Fund, accounts of Employees Provident Fund, Recurring Deposit accounts, Time Deposit accounts, Monthly Income scheme, Senior Citizens’ Savings Scheme accounts, Kisan Vikas Patra, National Savings Certificates, Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts and discontinued Small Savings Schemes have to be assessed and transferred to the fund before March 1 every year.
Before the final transfer, the institutions will try to contact the account holders through written notice, email, and telephone, twice within a period of 60 days. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be in charge of the fund and it will be managed by a committee headed by the Secretary of the Ministry.
“The fund will be used to subsidise the premiums of vulnerable groups such as old age pensioners, BPL card-holders, small and marginal farmers and others,” Arun Jaitley had said earlier.