Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a new scheme for the benefit of workers in the unorganised sectors. Named as Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan, the scheme aims to provide an assured monthly pension of Rs 3000 per month to workers in the unorganised sector earning up to Rs 15,000/month. The scheme will benefit around 42 crore workers in the sector.
Presenting the Interim Budget 2019, Goyal said, “Half of India’s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector working as street vendors, rickshaw pullers, construction workers, rag pickers, agricultural workers, beedi workers, handloom, leather and in numerous other similar occupations.”
“Domestic workers are also engaged in big numbers. We must provide them comprehensive social security coverage for their old age. Therefore, in addition to the health coverage provided under ‘Ayushman Bharat’ and life & disability coverage provided under ‘Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana’ and ‘Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana’”.
Who will benefit
The scheme will benefit those having a monthly income up to Rs 15000. Introducing the new scheme, Goyal said, “Our Government proposes to launch a mega pension yojana namely ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ for the unorganised sector workers with monthly income upto Rs 15,000.”
This pension yojana shall provide the unorganised sector workers an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 (Or, Rs 36,000 total yearly pension) from the age of 60 years on a monthly contribution of a small affordable amount during their working age.
Goyal explained, “An unorganised sector worker joining pension yojana at the age of 29 years will have to contribute only Rs 100 per month (Or, Rs 1200 per year) till the age of 60 years.”
Similarly, a worker joining the pension yojana at 18 years, will have to contribute as little as Rs 55 per month (Or, Rs 660 total yearly investment) only.
Compare the new scheme to Modi government’s flagship Atal Pension Yojana. For a monthly pension of Rs 3000, an APY account holder needs to deposit Rs 126/month, starting from the age of 18. If someone starts at the age of 29, the monthly contribution for Rs 3000/month pension goes up to Rs 318. One good thing about APY, however, is that it provides an avenue to ensure a monthly pension of Rs 5000. The new scheme for unorganised sector workers, however, is limited to Rs 3000 pension.
In Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan, Goyal said that the Government will deposit equal matching share in the pension account of the worker every month.
World’s largest Pension Scheme?
“It is expected that at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector will avail the benefit of ‘Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan’ within next five years making it one of the largest pension schemes of the world,” Goyal said.
The Finance Minister added, “A sum of `500 crore has been allocated for the Scheme. Additional funds will be provided as needed. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year.”