Cabinet clears pension scheme for small farmers, traders
In its first meeting after the NDA returned to power, the Union Cabinet on Friday approved a pension scheme for small-marginal farmers and small retailers and also extended the scope of the direct income support scheme for farmers by removing the ceiling of two hectares of land.
The Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the new central sector scheme, namely, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana (PM-KPY), which is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers across the country with the entry age of 18 to 40 and with a provision of minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 on attaining the age of 60 years.
The Central government shall also contribute to the pension fund an equal amount matching the farmer’s contribution.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, new Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the government has done away with the benchmark of two hectares. With this, two crore farmers who were left out of the scheme (PM-KISAN) will be benefitted, he said.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) launched by Modi in February provides income support to small and marginal farmer families with cultivable land holding up to two hectares across the country by way of payment of Rs 6,000 per year.
“The revised scheme will cover around two crore more farmers who were earlier left out, thus increasing the total number of beneficiaries to 14.5 crore from earlier 12.5 crore. Total Rs 87,000 crore will be given to farmers,” said Tomar.
In the pension scheme, after the subscriber’s death, while receiving the pension, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50 per cent of the pension as family pension provided he or she is not already a small and marginal beneficiary scheme.
Similarly, the Cabinet also approved a scheme to give monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to small traders, businessmen, and shopkeepers after they attain the age of 60 years.
“The Union Cabinet has approved in its effort to provide to universal social security, a new scheme which assures all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after attaining the age of 60 years,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told media persons after the Cabinet meeting.
All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with Goods and Services Tax (GST) turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and aged between 18 and 40 years can enroll themselves for the scheme.
“The decision is likely to benefit 5 crore small traders in the coming three years. The enrolment can be made through the Common Service Centre. For those who are 18 years of age, Rs 2 per day is the investment,” he said.
“Those who get enrolled at the age of 29 years will have to make a monthly investment of Rs 100 and Rs 200 per month for those who are enrolled at the 40 years,” added Javadekar, saying: “It is a landmark decision for small traders, businessmen, and small shopkeepers.(ANI)