PM’s pension scheme fails to reach poor : The Tribune India

PM’s pension scheme fails to reach poor

JAMMU: Since his becoming the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been focusing his thrust on reaching out to common people and poor masses through various efforts, launching a number of schemes to benefit them at the grass-roots level.



Vikram Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 27

Since his becoming the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been focusing his thrust on reaching out to common people and poor masses through various efforts, launching a number of schemes to benefit them at the grass-roots level.

How many of such schemes have reached their logical conclusion in the state is still unclear as most of the people have expressed unfamiliarity about these schemes.

The Atal Pension Yojna (APL) is one such scheme which was particularly launched for a targeted unorganised sector to benefit the poor in rural India and get them enrolled though banks and post offices for availing pensions after a certain age limit.

“We have bank accounts and accounts at post offices also. No official ever tried to educate us about any such scheme,” said Rajni Rani, 23, a household maid at Rehari.

Lack of awareness among the masses as well as no organised communication reaching at the grass-roots level is another major problem.

“We never come to know about such schemes as most of our earnings depend on the agriculture sector which functions without banking,” said Ruhalu Ram, 56, a farmer at Phallain Mandal.

The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank-account holders. The Central Government will contribute 50 per cent of the total contribution or Rs 1,000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber for a period of five years, ie from financial year 2015- 16 to 2019-20.

However, digging out a loophole in the scheme, a young entrepreneur, Yogesh Bhardwaj, said since he enrolled himself with the scheme on a higher slab of Rs 5,000 pension per month and paid a monthly installment of Rs 716, he was only given a counter slip with no documents.

“Despite many queries and reminders to the bank to provide an official document regarding the scheme, the officials gave no reply except that they were waiting for a Central Government order,” he said.

Public Relation Officer, J&K Bank, Anil Sharma said the scheme was very beneficial for people but the participation was low due to unfamiliarity.

“People have not understood the basic structure of the scheme. Though there have been vast advertisements in rural and urban areas, people failed to understand the benefits of the scheme in detail which will help them in the long run,” Sharma said.

The Atal Pension Yojana was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 9 in Kolkata. As of May 2015, only 11 per cent of India’s population have availed any kind of pension scheme.

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