From the Viewsroom

Give the seniors more time

Anand Kalyanaraman | Updated on April 03, 2020 Published on April 03, 2020

Deadline to invest in PM Vaya Vandana Yojana must be extended

The All-India Senior Citizens’ Confederation has urged the Finance Minister to extend the time for senior citizens to invest in the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) — a scheme operated by LIC that provides assured pension income to senior citizens at about 8 per cent annually for 10 years. This is a valid demand, and there is a strong case for extending the deadline. The PMVVY, operational since mid-2017, closed on March 31, 2020. But in the run-up to the deadline, the lockdown across the country due to the coronavirus outbreak would have prevented many senior citizens from making the investment in the PMVVY.

The last date, therefore, must be extended from March 31 to June 30, similar to what the Centre has already announced for investments in various tax-saving instruments under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act (PPF, NSC, life insurance premiums, etc), Section 80D (health insurance premiums) and Section 80G (donations), for FY20. When the time for all these schemes can be extended, there is no reason why the date for PMVVY cannot as well.

 

The extension of time for investing in the PMVVY is all the more important, because rates on small savings schemes including the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) have been slashed in the latest quarterly reset for April-June 2020. The SCSS now earns 7.4 per cent compared with the earlier 8.6 per cent — a sharp cut of 1.2 percentage points. Deposit rates offered by many banks have also been cut sharply. These rates are unlikely to increase anytime soon, given the low interest rate trend in the economy.

Senior citizens depend a great deal on interest income, and the sharp cut in rates on the SCSS and bank fixed deposits will certainly hurt many in this vulnerable section of society — especially given the high inflation in medical costs. Senior citizens deserve another chance to invest in a safe, relatively high-yield instrument that will help them tide over tough times. The PMVVY fits the bill.

The writer is Deputy Editor with BusinessLine

Published on April 03, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.