Three years after a voluntary but contributory pension scheme was launched, just 50,680 traders, small shopkeepers and self-employed persons got themselves enrolled under the scheme that targets 30 million enrollments by 2023-24. Government makes a matching contribution, ranging between Rs 55-200 a month, under the scheme for each beneficiary.
Traders, self-employed persons mostly working as shop owners, retail traders, rice mill owners, real estate brokers with an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore or below, aged between 18-40 years, can join Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Maan-dhan, Yojana for an assured pension of Rs 3,000 a month on attaining the age of 60 years. The scheme came into force on July 22, 2019.
A person already a beneficiary of a similar scheme (Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana), paying income tax and contributing to social security schemes run by EPFO, ESIC or NPS is not eligible to join the scheme. Replying to a unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, minister of state for labour and employment Rameswar Teli explained the reasons for low enrollment under the scheme — the scheme is voluntary and contributory, many small shopkeepers, vendors, traders are already covered under the PM-SYM.
“Covid-19 outbreak affected the implementation of the scheme during last two years,” the minister said.
Teli said the government is mobilising eligible beneficiaries through state government machinery and others in order to achieve the target. “Besides this, government has also launched extensive social media campaign to mobilise the targeted beneficiaries,” he said.