Appreciating the contribution of 42 crore people working in the unorganized sector in the economy, the government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana (PM Karam Yogi Mandhan Yojana) in the interim budget of 2019-20. Pension program for workers, Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana is included in the major welfare schemes of the government. The Finance Minister had said in his budget speech at that time, “Our government proposes to start a big pension scheme for workers in the unorganized sector with a monthly income of up to Rs 15,000. This pension scheme will guarantee them a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60 by contributing a small amount.
According to the budget proposal, under this pension scheme, a 29-year-old worker will have to contribute Rs 100 per month till the age of 60 years. At the same time, an 18-year-old worker will have to contribute Rs 55 per month to join the scheme. The government will deposit the same amount every month in the pension account of the employee.
In a book titled ‘Explanation and Commentary on Budget 2023-24’, Subhash Chandra Garg has claimed, “In the first year of Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana (2019-20), a good number of laborers and workers were attracted. As on March 31, 2020, 43,64,744 workers were registered under the scheme. But later the interest of the unorganized sector workers in the scheme decreased. Only 1,30,213 workers were registered in the financial year 2020-21 and this increased the total number of registered workers and workers to 44,94,864.
He has written, “In the financial year 2021-22, 1,61,837 workers were registered under the scheme. With this, the number of registered workers increased to 46,56,701 by March 31, 2022. It seems that after that workers started canceling registration from January 2023.” According to the dashboard of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, after reaching 56,27,235 in January 2023, the number of registered workers decreased and this March , came to 44,00,535 in 2023. In the interim budget of the financial year 2019-20, in five years, about 10 crore workers of the unorganized sector were expected to join this pension scheme. Compared to that, the number of workers and workers registered so far is very less.
Apart from this, in its second term, in the full budget of 2019-20, the government started a pension scheme, Pradhan Mantri Karma Yogi Maandhan Yojana, for three crore retail traders, small shopkeepers and individuals with less than 1.5 crore annual turnover. Along with this, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana (PMKMY Scheme) was started for small and marginal farmers.
According to the website of the Ministry of Labor, as on April 30, 2023, 52,472 small businessmen and shopkeepers have joined the Karmayogi Maandhan Yojana. At the same time, 19,44,335 farmers were connected under PM Kisan Maandhan Yojana, which is only 2.5 percent of the farmers taking advantage of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
In this book, giving information about the results of the announcements made in the budget for the financial years 2021-22 and 2022-23, it is written, “These three pension schemes have become inactive in a way.” It seems that the government has also abandoned these schemes. No major effort is visible from the government side to popularize the schemes.
He has written in the book, “The government’s budgetary allocation for all the three schemes is also stable or it is decreasing. In the case of Shram Yogi Maandhan, the budgetary allocation is stable in the range of Rs 325 crore to Rs 350 crore. And in the case of Kisan Maandhan Yojana, it is between Rs 50 crore and Rs 100 crore. It seems that the government has abandoned the Karma Yogi Maandhan Yojana. For this, where there was an allocation of 10 crores in the revised estimate in 2022-23, it was reduced to only 3 crores in 2023-24.