New Delhi: A pension scheme has been announced for workers in the unorganised sector with a monthly income of up to Rs. 15,000. They will have an assured monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 after they retire at 60. The plan is expected to provide comprehensive social security to 10 crore labourers, which will take care of them in old age. This will attract matching contribution of Rs 100 per month from the government as well as from the workers.
This is a significant step as half of India’s GDP comes from the sweat and toil of 42 crore workers in the unorganised sector who work as street vendors rickshaw pullers, construction workers… and in numerous other similar occupations. Domestic workers also fall in this category. According to the scheme, an unorganised sector worker joining the pension scheme at the age of 29 years will have to contribute only Rs 100 per month till the age of 60 years. On the other hand, an informal sector worker joining the scheme at 18 years will have to contribute just Rs 55 per month.
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The government will deposit an equal matching share in the pension account of the worker every month. The proposal is expected to benefit at least 10 crore labourers and workers in the unorganised sector. This also makes it one of the largest pension schemes of the world. The government has provided Rs 500 crore for the scheme and assured that additional funds will be allocated, as needed. The scheme will also be implemented from the current year.
GRATUITY: The ceiling of payment of tax free gratuity has been enhanced from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs (last year in March). All those employee who serve for more than five years are eligible for payment of gratuity on leaving the job or at the time of retirement. The New Pension Scheme, too, has been liberalised. The contribution of the employee remains at 10 per cent, while that of the Government increases by 4 per cent, which makes it 14 per cent.
Likewise, the maximum ceiling on the bonus given to labourers has been increased from Rs 3,500 per month to Rs 7,000 per month and the maximum ceiling on pay has been increased from Rs 10,000 per month to Rs 21,000 per month, he said. The minimum pension for every labourer has been fixed at Rs 1,000 per month