The web of social security risen by PM Modi-led BJP government through various schemes since it swept to office in 2014, now has a new strand- pension coverage for informal sector workers.   

In the interim Budget, the Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan was introduced objected 10 crore laborers in the informal or private sector over the next five years, developed it as one of the largest pension schemes across the world.

The Finance Minister in his speech said that “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, ragpickers, agricultural workers, beedi workers, handloom, leather and in numerous other similar occupations,” adding that “we must provide them comprehensive social security for their old age.”

The Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan will further cover those with a monthly income of up to Rs. 15,000, offering an assured Rs. 3000 as monthly pension after the age of 60-years. Those who start working at 29-years will have to contribute a monthly income of Rs. 100 per month till the age of 60, while those subscribing the pension scheme at 18-years will have to spend Rs. 55 per month. The government will also deposit a matching share in the pension account of individual of the worker every month.  

The pension scheme caps the raft of social security measures, also include health coverage under Ayushman Bharat, life and disability coverage under PM Suraksha Bima Yojana and PM Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. Other than insurance, the government has also cast the net wide for finance that include Jan Dhan Yojana. It has further raised minimum wages for all laborers by 42 percent while the flooring of Employees State Insurance scheme has been hiked from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000 per month.

Under Employees Provident Fund, the minimum pension for workers is secured at Rs. 1000 a month, in the event of a worker’s death, the sum paid by EPFO has been raised from existing Rs. 2.5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh. For “Asha Yojana” and “Anganwadi” workers, the honorarium has been raised by around 50 percent.

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