Tribune news service
Chandigarh, November 15
Chandigarh has been ranked first in the country in the implementation of the pension scheme for traders and self-employed persons.
Around 872 traders have so far enrolled under the scheme, which was announced by the Government of India recently.
The Centre launched the scheme for retail traders under which pension benefits would be extended to about 3 crore retail traders and small shopkeepers whose annual turnover is less than Rs 1.5 crore. In the enrolment, Uttar Pradesh (857) ranked second, while Haryana (488) stood third.
All shopkeepers, self-employed persons as well as retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and aged between 18 and 40 years could enrol for the scheme. The process for availing of the scheme is simple and requires only Aadhaar number and a bank account.
Under the scheme, all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are guaranteed a monthly pension amount of Rs 3,000 once they attain the age of 60 years. It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis where a prescribed age-specific contribution should be made by the beneficiary and a matching contribution by the Central Government.
The Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) Yojana, a pension scheme for unorganised sector workers, has also proved to be a hit among the workers. Around 1,521 workers have so far registered under the scheme.
Mandip Singh Brar, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Labour Commissioner, Chandigarh, said both schemes were getting good response. The Department of Labour was trying hard to provide maximum benefit to the beneficiaries. Any informal sector worker aged between 18 years and 40 years could enrol for the pension schemes.
Harish Garg, president of the Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT), Chandigarh, said there was a need to start an intensive awareness drive about the pension scheme for traders. The CAIT would also start a campaign for traders soon to encourage them to enrol in a large number to get the benefit of the scheme.
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