Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, while presenting Budget 2019, on Friday announced the launch of a social security pension scheme for workers in the unorganized sector, called the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan.
Under the scheme, an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month will be provided to workers in the unorganized sector after 60 years of age. However, to avail of the scheme, workers will have to contribute Rs 100 month.
“Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan will be launched to provide assured monthly pension of 3000 rupees per month, with a contribution of 100 rupees per month, for workers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age,” Goyal said.
He further said the scheme, which would benefit 10 crore workers, would be implemented from this fiscal itself. “It may become the world’s biggest pension scheme for the unorganized sector in five years,” he said. Goyal also announced an increase of gratuity limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh from the next fiscal.
The new pension scheme will run alongside the existing Atal Pension Yojana, which guarantees returns post-retirement. He said 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from “sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganized sector.”
The government’s attempt to woo the unorganized sector comes after an estimated 200 million workers across various sectors carried out a two-day nationwide strike on January 8-9. About 91 percent of the informal sector, which was dependent on cash for survival, was harmed due to demonetization.
Among the most pertinent demands raised by the protesters was minimum wages of Rs 18,000 and assured pension of at least Rs 3,000. The government seems to have paid heed to their demands.