The government will make the income eligibility criterion flexible for its mega pension scheme announced in the interim budget on Friday so that beneficiaries remain in the fold even if their monthly incomes rise above the current cap of Rs 15,000.
The scheme, which intends to cover 100 million labourers from the unorganised sector, including domestic helps, street vendors, rickshaw-pullers and farm workers, was announced by Union finance minister Piyush Goyal in the interim budget on Friday.
The social security scheme, Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan, will give Rs 3,000 every month to beneficiaries after they attain the age of 60.
Since it is limited to workers whose monthly income is up to Rs 15,000, there were some apprehensions that it would exclude several beneficiaries if their monthly income crosses the limit at some point during their working lives, said an official in the Union labour ministry who asked not to be named.
The government has taken note of this problem and it will address this issue suitably before the scheme is launched this month, he added.
Economic affairs secretary Santosh Kumar Garg detailed two possible options. “The scheme is contributory. The government can take a view that at the entry stage we will have Rs 15,000 [criterion]. Even if it [the monthly income] goes up, he [the beneficiary] will continue to contribute,” he said.
The second option is to adjust the income (Rs 15,000 per month) for inflation, Garg added.