Agriculture

Modi Launches Pension Scheme for Small, Marginal Farmers and Traders

Farmers who are currently between the ages of 18 and 40 can enrol in the scheme and are required to make monthly contributions varying from Rs 55 to Rs 200.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Mandhan pension scheme for small and marginal farmers (whose land holding is upto two hectares) while speaking in Ranchi in poll-bound Jharkhand.

Under the scheme, eligible farmers who opt for the scheme will receive Rs 3,000 a month after they reach the age of 60. The total outlay of the scheme for the next three years will be Rs 10,774 crore. There are a little over 12 crore small and marginal farmers in the country, according to the 2015 agriculture census.

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Farmers who are currently between the ages of 18 and 40 can enrol in the scheme and are required to make monthly contributions varying from Rs 55 to Rs 200. The government estimates that 5 crore farmers will be eligible to benefit from the scheme. The Centre will make a contribution to the fund of the same amount as the farmer.

The amount that the farmers are required to pay can either be deducted from the instalments that they are due under PM-Kisan or they can register and pay at common service centres.

Scheme for traders

Modi also launched the National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons under which traders and entrepreneurs whose annual turnover does not exceed Rs 1.5 crore will be also be provided a pension of Rs 3,000 per month after reaching the age of 60. Persons between the ages of 18 and 40 will be eligible.

The beneficiary should not be an income tax payer to be eligible for the scheme. Those who are eligible can enrol for the scheme through the 3.5 lakh common service centres across the country, a government press release said.

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Under this scheme too prospective beneficiaries will have to make a monthly contribution which will be matched by the central government. The government is targeting to be able to enrol 25 lakh traders in 2019-20 and increase enrolment to 2 crore by 2023-24.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has appreciated the efforts of the government but it said that more needs to be done. It has urged the Centre to also include traders who are currently between 41 and 55 years of age.

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