The newly-inducted Union Cabinet, in its first meeting, approved a mega pension scheme to provide a minimum assured pension of ₹3000 per month to all small shopkeepers and retail traders.
The new scheme is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's universal social security programme. Under the scheme, all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are guaranteed a monthly pension amount of ₹3,000 once they attain the age of 60 years. It aims at benefiting over 3 crore traders and shopkeepers.
All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below ₹1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years can enroll for this scheme, an official statement said.
To make it easier for the trading community, minimal documentation is required to avail the scheme. One needs the 12-digit Aadhaar card number and the bank account details for enrolling in the pension scheme. Common people can enroll themselves through over 3.25 lakh common service centres spread across the country.
Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, Confederation of All India Traders, said that this had been one of the key demands of the trading community.
The new scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis where a prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and a matching contribution by the central government. For example if an individual contributes ₹100 per month, then the central government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into subscriber’s pension account every month.
Five crore traders are expected to join the scheme in the next three years, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.