Pension scheme for small traders yet to kick off

The Centre’s pension scheme for small traders, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned in his Independence Day speech on Thursday as one of the promises met by his government since its re-election in May, is yet to start, according to Union Labour and Employment Ministry officials.

The Pradhan Mantri Laghy Vyapari Mann-Dhan scheme was among the promises of the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and was among the proposals cleared in the first Cabinet meeting after Mr. Modi’s re-election. On July 22, the scheme was notified by the Labour Ministry, making it applicable from that date. A checklist for the scheme on the Ministry’s site shows that “commencement of the scheme” and “launch of the scheme” are yet to take place.

According to Ministry officials, the online application portal for beneficiaries was supposed to start soon after the notification, while the official launch could have been done by the Prime Minister on Independence Day. However, officials now say that Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar is likely to launch the scheme soon.

Traders who have an annual turnover of less than ₹1.5 crore and are between 18 and 40 years of age would be eligible for the scheme. Those applying for the scheme cannot be covered under the National Pension Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme and the Employees’ Provident Fund nor be Income Tax assessees.

The beneficiary will have to contribute a monthly amount, which will be matched by the government. After they turn 60, the scheme’s subscribers would get ₹3,000 as monthly pension.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 6:41:10 PM |

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