The government has identified some Rs 10,000 crore lying unutilised or unclaimed with it, the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India to create an income stream for providing cashless medical treatment and ramp up old-age home facilities for low-income senior citizens, official sources told FE, reports Prasanta Sahu in New Delhi.
The funds to be used for the purpose include about Rs 3,000 crore in postal life insurance funds lying unclaimed with India Post and Rs 7,000 crore held by the RBI and Sebi as depositor education and awareness fund.
An announcement in this regard, the sources said, could be expected in the next few weeks or latest in the coming Union Budget.
In the health insurance scheme being planned for senior citizens aged 60 years and above, the government could subsidise more than 90% of the premium payable by below poverty line (BPL) people for cashless medical treatment up to Rs 1 lakh.
The population of senior citizens in the country is now approximately 10.5 crore, out of which over 1 crore are above 80 years and around 2.7 crore are in the BPL category. A sizeable section of them suffer from age-related disabilities.
Sources said the funds identified could be invested in relatively risk-free instruments to make the system a sustainable one.
Besides BPL senior citizens, the government expecting additional membership of a very large number of the non-BPL senior citizens who would subscribe to the health insurance scheme by paying low premiums.
The new cover for the BPL senior citizens would be over and above the insurance support they could now receive under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which is currently to the tune of Rs 30,000 per annum on a family floater basis.