Only about 30 lakh enrolled for PM Shram Yogi Maandhan since February
There has been a tepid response so far to the pension scheme for unorganised sector workers rolled out from February 15. Only around 30 lakh workers engaged as street vendors, rickshaw pullers, construction workers and similar 127 occupations have got themselves enrolled under the pension scheme till April 25, official data showed.
Aimed at providing such set of workers, earning a monthly wage of less than Rs 15,000, a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after attaining retirement age, the Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) announced in the interim budget intended to cover 10 crore or around one-fourth of 42 crore unorganised sector workforce in five years.
As on March 9, the number of enrollments under PMSYM stood at 17,69,159. The number increased to 26,22,007 on March 25 and further to 29,58,116 on April 25. Among the beneficiaries enrolled so far, the highest number came from Haryana, followed by Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.
Even as the government makes a matching contribution in the pension account of the worker every month under the PMSYM, the scheme has relatively failed to catch the fancy of the lower income groups even though the scheme is way less costlier than the extant Atal Pension Yojana (APY).
Under PMSYM, the worker makes a monthly contribution of just Rs 55. This is more affordable than the Rs 126 per month premium that an 18-year old pays under the APY for an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 upon completion of 60 years. Similarly, those who join PMSYM at the age of 29 will pay a monthly premium of Rs 100 for a fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month at the age of 60. This compares with Rs 318 a month for the same amount of monthly pension under APY.
PMSYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme where the entry age is between 18 and 40 years. A worker covered under any statutory social security scheme such as National Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation scheme, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) are not allowed to join in the scheme. The worker should also not be an income tax payee. Once the beneficiary joins the scheme, she has to contribute till she attains the age 60 years to get a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after attaining the age of 60 years. After the subscriber’s death, spouse will receive half of the monthly pension.