November 22, 2011

INDIA: Senior citizens want banks to raise interest rates on deposits

VISAKHAPATNAM, Andhra Pradesh / The Hindu Business Line / Banking / November 21, 2011

The All-India Senior Citizens' Confederation today urged banks to pay older citizens 2 per cent more interest on deposits instead of 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent currently paid by different banks. They have also sought more liberal insurance schemes.

Mr P. Balaraju, State Minister for Tribal Welfare, was the chief guest at the conference, hosted by Sneha Sandhya, a local organisation for the elderly.

Mr R.N. Mittal, President of the confederation, and Dr S.P. Kinjawadekar, former president, said the minimum old age pension being paid by different states should be raised to at least Rs 500 for those in the age group of 60-80 and Rs 1,000 for those who have crossed the age of eighty. They said banks — both public sector and the private ones — should pay at least 2 per cent more on deposits, and the State Government should provide 50 per cent concession in state road transport corporation buses. Besides, at least four bus seats should be reserved for senior citizens.

In the absence of a social security network and the breakdown of the joint family system in the country, senior citizens should be provided this cushion. Insurance policies for senior citizens should also be made more liberal and the age limit rules should be relaxed, they added.

Mr Anup Shankar Bhattacharya, Chairman and Managing Director of the Bank of Maharashtra (right), said senior citizens should make extensive use of facilities of public sector banks. The Bank of Maharashtra has a separate grievance redressal system for senior citizens and would open a special counter for them in the branch here. The country has no proper social security system and therefore senior citizens should make wise investment decisions. His bank would always support their cause.

Mr M.V. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of the Union Bank of India, in a message read in absentia, suggested use of the reverse mortgage scheme introduced by banks including his bank for a comfortable life in the old age. Bankers should educate senior citizens about it.

Andhra Pradesh Minister, Mr Balaraju, felt the younger generation should gain from their experience and expertise of the elderly. He said he would take up with the State Government the issue of providing fare concession and seat reservation to senior citizens in APSRTC buses. A recreation centre was being built for the senior citizens here on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam, he added.

Copyright © 2011, The Hindu Business Line.
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