New Delhi, June 1: In a decision that will benefit the trading community, the Union Cabinet on Friday approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
This is a part of the Prime Minister's vision to provide a robust architecture of the universal social security, he said.
'India has a rich tradition of trade and commerce. Our traders continue to make a strong contribution to India's economic growth,' he added.
Under this scheme, all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 a month after attaining the age of 60 years. All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons, as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enroll for this scheme, which would benefit more than three crore small shopkeepers and traders.
The scheme is based on self-declaration, as no documents are required, except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enroll themselves through more than 3,25,000 Common Service Centres, spread across the country.
The Union government will make matching contribution in the subscribers' account. For example, if a person with age of 29 years, contributes Rs 100 per month, then the Central government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into the subscriber's pension account, every month.
By imitating a pension architecture for the trading community, the Prime Minister and his team have fulfilled a major promise made to the people of India, Javadekar said.
'Modi had spoken about the need of proving pension for traders, that would assure them a life of dignity and financial security especially when during their old age,' he said.
This decision can also be seen in the light of several other steps taken for the welfare of traders, small and medium business. The GST underwent significant simplification after taking feedback of the trading community. In the same way, Mudra loans gave wings to the entrepreneurial zeal of young India, said the Minister.
Loans up to Rs one crore are now easily available. These and many more efforts would help the trading community.
The Cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.