In Some Major decisions Government has decided to give pension coverage to Traders, PM-KISAN Scheme extension to include all eligible farmer families irrespective of the size of land holdings and Pension scheme to secure lives of 5 crore farmers in three years.

1. Traders to get pension coverage!

Cabinet clears pension scheme for traders 3 crore retail traders and shop keepers to benefit from this move PM Modi fulfils yet another promise on the first day in Government

India has a rich tradition of trade and commerce. Our traders continue to make a strong contribution to India’s economic growth.

In a decision that will benefit the trading community, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community. This is a part of the Prime Minister’s vision to provide a robust architecture of universal social security.

How the scheme works:

Under this scheme all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs. 3,000/- month after attaining the age of 60 years.

All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs. 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enrol for this scheme.  The scheme would benefit more than 3 crore small shopkeepers and traders.

The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enrol themselves through more than 3,25,000 Common Service Centres spread across the country.

The Government of India will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account.  For example if a person with age of 29 years contributes Rs. 100/- month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.

Delivering a major promise on Day 1:

By imitating a pension architecture for the trading community, the Prime Minister and his team have fulfilled a major promise made to the people of India. Shri Modi had spoken about the need of proving pension for traders, that would assure them a life of dignity and financial security especially when during their old age.

This decision can also be seen in the light of several other steps taken for the welfare of traders, small and medium business. The GST underwent significant simplification after taking feedback of the trading community. In the same way, Mudra loans gave wings to the entrepreneurial zeal of young India. Loans upto Rs. 1 crore are now easily available.

These, and many more efforts would help the trading community.

2. Landmark decision taken in the first Cabinet meeting of the NDA Government offers pension coverage to crores of farmers

Pension scheme to secure lives of 5 crore farmers in three years This scheme, in addition to PM-KISAN monetary support will ease economic burden and lead to greater efficiency

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved  a new Central Sector Scheme, a historic decision that will empower farmers across India. This is a path breaking scheme that will provide pension cover to our industrious farmers who toil day and night to keep our nation fed. It is also for the first time since independence that such a pension coverage has been envisioned for farmers.

It is estimated that 5 crore small and marginal farmers will benefit in the first three years itself.  The Central Government would spend Rs. 10774.50 crore for a period of 3 years towards its contribution (matching share) for providing social security cover as envisaged under the scheme.

The salient features of this scheme are:

A voluntary and contributory pension scheme for all Small and Marginal Farmers (SMF) across the country.

Entry age of 18 to 40 years with a provision of minimum fixed pension of Rs.3,000/- on attaining the age of 60 years.

For example, a beneficiary farmer is required to contribute Rs 100/ – per month at median entry age of 29 years.  The Central Government shall also contribute to the Pension Fund an equal amount as contributed by the eligible farmer.

After the subscriber’s death, while receiving pension, the spouse of the SMF beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension, provided he/she is not already an SMF beneficiary of the Scheme.  If, the death of the subscriber happens during the period of contribution, the spouse shall have the option of continuing the Scheme by paying regular contribution.

Synergy between schemes, prosperity for farmers:

An interesting feature of the Scheme is that the farmers can opt to allow his/her monthly contribution to the Scheme to be made from the benefits drawn from the Pradhan Mantri KisanSAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme directly. Alternatively, a farmer can pay his monthly contribution by registering through Common Service Centres (CSCs) under MeitY.

Fulfilling core promises, empowering the agriculture sector:

For seventy years after Independence, such a coverage for farmers was never thought. It was in the run up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections that PM Narendra Modi first mooted such an idea, which gradually found resonance across the length and breadth of India. Such a plan was mentioned in the BJP manifesto and in the first Cabinet meeting after the formation of a new Government, it has become a reality.

3. PM-KISAN Scheme extension to include all eligible farmer families irrespective of the size of land holdings

Historic decision during the first Cabinet meeting- PM-KISAN Yojana extended to all farmers PM Modi fulfils a major promise to farmers Now, 14.5 crore farmers to benefit from the scheme

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri KisanSamman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended. With this decision, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.

More beneficiaries, greater progress:

The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, with an estimated expenditure by Central Government of Rs. 87,217.50 crores for year 2019-20.

Speed, scale and a major promise delivered:

Today’s Cabinet decision pertaining to expanding the ambit PM-KISAN marks the fulfilment of a major promise made by the Prime Minister to the people of India in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections. The BJP manifesto too mentioned this major policy decision.

It may also be noted that certain operational issues like lack of updated land records in Jharkhand and lack of Aadhaar penetration in states of Assam, Meghalaya and J&K have also been resolved.

PM-KISAN: A path-breaking support incentive for farmers:

The genesis of the PM-KISAN Yojana dates back to the interim Budget for the year 2019-2020.

The key element of PM-KISAN is income support of Rs. 6000/- to the small and marginal landholder farmer families with cultivable land holding upto 2 hectare across the country. (This has been expanded today)

The amount is being released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- each over the year, to be credited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries held in destination banks through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.

The scheme was launched in a record time of 3 weeks, on 24th February at a huge programme in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments was paid to several farmers.

So far, 1st instalment to 3.11 crore beneficiaries and 2nd instalment to 2.66 crore beneficiaries have been credited directly to the bank accounts of the farmer families.

Serving India’s Annadatas with renewed vigour:

Time and again, PM Narendra Modi has spoken with great reverence for India’s farmers. He has described India’s farmers as our Annadatas who undertake great efforts to feed 1.3 billion Indians.

Between 2014 to 2019, numerous measures were taken to empower the hardworking farmer. This includes increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for 22 crops, Soil Health Cards, PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana, PM KisanSampada Yojana, e-NAM for better markets and more. These steps have made agriculture more prosperous and ensured greater productivity for farmers. They will go a long way in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of doubling farmer incomes by 2022, when India marks 75 years of freedom.

Source- PIB

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October 2020