PMSYM – pension scheme for informal sector workers gets poor response in May

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Updated: Jun 20, 2020 2:00 AM

To keep the social security mechanism intact, the government can make both the workers’ and its contribution for at least six month which could be recouped at a later date, he said.

Also, only 8,166 people joined the scheme till the 18th in the current month.Also, only 8,166 people joined the scheme till the 18th in the current month.

For the second month in a row, domestic workers, rikshaw pullers, cobblers and other poor workers in the unorganised sector gave the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) scheme a near miss, with fresh enrollment under the pension scheme failing to go past the 20,000-mark in May.

Since the scheme was launched in February 2019, net monthly additions varied between its lowest of 20,780 in October 2019 and the peak of 5,49,702 in November 2019, but have never gone below the 20,000-mark before April 2020, when the net addition was just 16,290.

In May, the net addition was 19,212, according to data revealed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Also, only 8,166 people joined the scheme till the 18th in the current month.

According to official data, 44.08 lakh people have so far joined the PMSYM scheme, meant for the lowest strata of the society. The scheme was launched in February last year with a target to cover 10 crore people in five years.

Similarly, till now, only 39,941 ‘vyaparis’ have enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme (PMKYMS), rolled out on September 12, 2019. This scheme again has an ambitious target to get three crore retail traders and shopkeepers enrolled, although no timeframe has been set.

The government makes matching contribution in both the schemes. The budgetary allocation for the PMSYM for FY21 is Rs 500 crore, while that for the PMKYMS is Rs 180 crore.

Labour economist KR Shyama Sundar said since a clutch of such workers, consequent to the Covid-19 pandemic, did have limited or no income-earning opportunities, they were left with very less liquidity which might have prevented them to come forward and get themselves enrolled under the pension scheme. Logistics issue may also have played the spoiler.

To keep the social security mechanism intact, the government can make both the workers’ and its contribution for at least six month which could be recouped at a later date, he said.

The traders’ scheme is limited to those with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore. Under both the schemes, a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 is offered to a subscriber on attaining the retirement age.

Those belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the schemes. These are voluntary and contributory schemes.

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