Unorganized sector hails Centre’s monthly pension scheme

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Soon after the Central government announced a scheme to provide an assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month for workers in the unorganized sector, several labourers living in the national capital hailed the scheme.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced the “Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan”, a scheme to provide an assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month for workers in the unorganized sector who earn up to Rs 15,000 per month.

For 35-year-old Mohan, a tea seller, the scheme will help him in days when he will not be in a state to do much physical work.

“I heard people talking about the Budget and also the pension scheme for people like us. I got to know that a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 will be given to us. I hope the scheme will turns out to be good. I cannot work throughout my life, and if there is a security that I will get some money after the age of 60, it will help me and my family,” he told IANS.

For Raju Pushkar, who sells fast food and is in his early 20s, the scheme will be helpful for sure.

“I have seen my parents. They were also from the unorgnaized sector. Now they depend on us and have nothing apart from their little savings, which they have kept for my sister’s marriage. I don’t wish to be like them. I will opt for the scheme so that I can live my life in old age with dignity,” he said.

Anita, a domestic worker, said as there is hardly any security in her profession, the scheme will help.

“People like us are most exploited. We have nowhere to go in old age. Most of the times, our own children throw us out of the house. At least with such a scheme, we will not have to beg in our old age,” said the 23-year-old.

While presenting the Interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Goyal said the scheme will benefit 10 crore workers and might become the world’s biggest pension scheme for the unorganized sector in the next five years.

“Half of India’s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganized sector. We must provide them a social security coverage,” said Goyal.

He said the mega pension scheme will benefit household helps, rickshaw pullers, agricultural labourers and beedi workers — and more.

A worker joining the scheme on attaining 29 years of age or above will have to contribute Rs 100 a month while those joining at age 18 will contribute Rs 55 per month. The workers will receive a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after attaining 60 years of age.

However, not all labourers were happy with the scheme.

“This is not the first time a government has promised us anything. We are used to such promises. Plus, the election is coming. I have seen many parties and governments making promises but I have not seen any change in my life,” said 56-year-old rickshaw puller Rampal Yadav.

Echoing the sentiments, another rickshaw puller, standing next to him, said: “I will only believe in the schemes when I actually see the change. They (government) makes false promises and takes our votes and then there is no one to even listen to us.”

(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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