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FROM THE EDITOR

Get aware, invest wisely, spend smartly

Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to www.harmonyindia.org, your home for the latest news, views and reviews on the silver world. The past month was one of learning and discovery for us, as we made the transition from print to digital, attempting to deliver more real-time news and engage more visitors to the site.

Now, February is upon us, and the most anticipated event of the month—the Interim Budget—has come and gone. As we reported in our exclusive Budget preview, experts had called for a targeted approach to tackle the medical concerns of silvers, including extending the ambit of medical insurance and removal of the 18 per cent GST levied on specialised residential healthcare and day-care services, as well as a hike in the National Old Age Pension, which stands at a paltry Rs 200 per month for BPL citizens up to the age of 80 and Rs 500 from those above it.

None of these demands have been met. Indeed, the Budget proved to be a disappointment—the only silver lining, quite literally, is the full tax rebate for income up to Rs 500,000. With those above 80 already exempt up to Rs 500,000, this proposal will only benefit 60 to 80 year-olds who were previously exempt for an income up to Rs 300,000 (and taxed 5 per cent for income from Rs 300,000 to Rs 500,000). As we reported in our Budget analysis, the new pension scheme—Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Man Dhan Yojna—with an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for workers above 60 from the unorganised sector, is also for those who are still employed and requires a Rs 100 contribution from the person.

Evidently, at a time when all our political parties are focused on the upcoming elections, the silver constituency has been given the short end of the stick. And while we wait for more relief (and better policymaking), it’s time to get more financially savvy and protect our nest eggs. Our ‘Money’ section is full of informative articles and professional advice to help you max your money. Your savings are hard-earned—so get aware, invest wisely, spend smartly.

By Tina Ambani

February 2019