Cabinet approves Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill, 2019

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News:The Union Cabinet has approved the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill,2019.

Facts:

About the bill:

  • The bill seeks to amend the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizen Act, 2007.
  • The aim of the Bill is to provide for maintenance and welfare of parents and senior citizens, and ensure their rights are recognised under the Constitution.

Key features of the bill:

  • The Bill expands the definition of children which currently refers to only biological children and grandchildren to include daughter-in-law and son-in-law.
  • It extends the definition of maintenance beyond provision of food, clothing, housing, health care to include safety and security of the parent.
  • It proposes to remove the ceiling of ₹10,000 as maintenance towards welfare of parents.It proposes to make this amount variable as people who earn more can afford to shell out a higher amount for the upkeep of their parents.
  • It also proposes registration of senior citizens care homes/homecare service agencies along with maintaining minimum standards for senior citizen care homes.
  • It also includes the appointment of Nodal Police Officers for Senior Citizens in every Police Station and District level Special Police Unit for Senior Citizens.
  • State governments were to set up maintenance tribunals in every subdivision to decide the level of maintenance.Appellate tribunals were to be established at the district level.
  • The Senior citizens who are unable to maintain themselves can approach the maintenance tribunal seeking a monthly allowance from their children or heirs.
  • The punishment for not paying the required monthly allowance was fixed at Rs 5,000 or up to three months in prison or both.