Fulfilling his poll promise, the Modi government on its first day announced a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for traders across the nation, which will benefit over three crore people.
The Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the pension scheme for traders under which all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured of a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
"India has a rich tradition of trade and commerce. Our traders continue to make a strong contribution to India's economic growth. In a decision that will benefit the trading community, the Union Cabinet has approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community. This is a part of the Prime Minister's vision to provide a robust architecture of universal social security," the Cabinet said in a statement.
It said that all small shopkeepers and self-employed persons as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enroll for this scheme.
"The scheme is based on self-declaration as no documents are required except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enroll themselves through more than 3,25,000 Common Service Centres spread across the country," the statement said.
The Central government will make matching contribution in the subscribers' account, it said.
"For example if a person with age of 29 years contributes Rs 100 a month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as a subsidy into subscriber's pension account every month," the Cabinet said.
During his poll campaigns, Modi had spoken about the need to provide pension for traders, that would assure them a life of dignity and financial security during their old age.
"This decision can also be seen in the light of several other steps taken for the welfare of traders, small and medium business," the statement added.