SHILLONG: Along with the rest of the country, the “Pension Week” was launched in Shillong by DP Wahlang, Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Labour Department.
The programme organized by the Labour Department and Office of the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills district was also attended by R Rapthap, Secretary Labour Department, M War Nongbri, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills, B Mawlong, Labour Commissioner, BDOs, senior government officials, members of the unorganized sector, among others.
In his inaugural speech, Wahlang informed that the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan, a government scheme meant for old age protection and social security of Unorganized Workers (UW) while National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons, were launched by the Union Government for benefit of workers of various unorganized sectors and for traders respectively.
Stating that these pension schemes are voluntary and contributory in nature in which the government will also make a matching contribution, Wahlang also informed that unorganized workers, traders and self employed persons in the age group of 18 to 40 years are eligible to join the scheme with monthly contribution ranging between Rs 55 to Rs 200 depending on age on the time of enrolment till they attain the age of 60 years.
Pointing out that under the schemes, the subscriber would receive a minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years and said that if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive family pension. Wahlang said that family pension is applicable only to spouse of the deceased. He urged all workers of unorganized sectors and traders to avail the schemes and appealed to them to visit their nearest Common Service Centre (CSC) or their Block Offices for enrolment.
M War Nongbri informed that unorganized workers who are mostly engaged as home-based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, own account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, audio- visual workers or workers in similar other occupations whose monthly income is Rs 15,000 or less are eligible for benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan.
Nongbri, further informed that small scale traders and retailers and individuals who are self-employed and are working as shop owners, retail traders, rice mill owners, oil mill owners, workshop owners, commission agents, brokers of real estate, owners of small hotels, restaurants and others with similar occupations whose annual turnover does not exceed Rs 1.5 crore are eligible for benefit under the National Pension Scheme for Traders and Self Employed Persons.