I am a farmer. I continue to feed more than 130 crore Indians. But, is my life secure? Can my children also get a similar level of education and living standard as any other person employed in service industry in a city? What will happen to me after I retire? These are the questions that a farmer keeps asking himself and the governments.
Responding to these worries, the government in last 5 years has changed the way farmer development was seen in the country. Prime Minister Modi gave a call for doubling the farmer’s income. And, schemes launched by the government gave this call a life. Today, from irrigation to insurance and from seeds to national agriculture market, every aspect of a farmer’s life is touched by the government’s welfare initiative. In this series, another scheme is being rolled out. And, this is to secure farmer’s life after retirement.
PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana
Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana is an old-age pension scheme for small and marginal farmers who have not been covered under any other scheme.
Features of scheme
The scheme is voluntary and contributory for farmers in the entry age group of 18 to 40 years. For a monthly contribution of Rs. 55 to Rs. 200 depending on their age of entry, they will be getting a monthly pension of Rs. 3000 on attaining the age of 60 years. The union government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund. The spouse is also eligible to get a separate pension of Rs. 3000 upon making separate contributions to the pension fund.
The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will manage the pension fund for Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana.
Convergence with PM-Kisan scheme
Under PM-Kisan, direct payment of Rs. 6000 per year is being transferred in three equal installments of Rs. 2000 every four months into the Aadhaar ceded bank accounts of eligible landholding Small and Marginal farmer families. And as in case of many other schemes, Modi government has found a convergence between these two schemes also.
The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly. In case of default in making regular contributions, the beneficiaries are allowed to regularize the contributions by paying the outstanding dues along with prescribed interest.
Entry age-specific monthly contribution
Initially, farmers can enroll in the scheme through Common Service Centres (CSCs) in various states. No fee is being levied on farmer for the enrolment. The CSCs will charge Rs. 30 per enrolment which will be borne by the government.
Later, more facilities through PM Kisan State Nodal Officers or online counters will be made functional for enrolment.
Why it is not just another scheme but a big reform
About 70% of rural households in India are primarily dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, of which more than 80% of farmers are small and marginal. It is thus inevitable to bring such a big proportion of the population under social security net. Government has, therefore, addressed the area which policymakers in India have for long continued to ignore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reportedly launch this mega pension scheme for farmers on September 12, 2019 from Ranchi, Jharkhand. However, the registration for the scheme has already begun on August 09, 2019.
Registration opens for PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana; Union Agriculture Minister @nstomar urges farmers to register for the Pension Scheme.
— PIB India (@PIB_India) August 9, 2019