Launching a pension scheme for 42 crore unorganised workers in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that it took just 55 months for the son of a tea-vendor to do what the communist governments in states and Congress could not, since independence.
Describing himself once again as “mazdoor number one”, Modi while launching the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) from Vastral in Ahmedabad, said, “This is the first such scheme after independence which has touched that section of society which has not been thought about and has been left to fate. A lot of slogans have been raised, there have been no shortage of politics… In this country, communists got a chance to make governments in a number of states, but they never brought such a scheme for the unorganised workers. Even the Congress that ruled the country and collected votes in the name of poor, but they did not remember to bring in such a scheme. In 55 months, it took a son of a tea-vendor to launch it.”
“I am the country’s Mazdoor (worker) number one,” Modi said at the event where over Rs 11 lakh was transferred online to the pension accounts of over two lakh beneficiaries across the country. PM Modi said that 14.5 lakh beneficiaries have already joined the PM-SYM scheme. “Just 15 days ago, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana was launched for 12 crore farmers and today I am dedicating a similar scheme for 42 crore unorganised workers,” Modi said.
Explaining the details of the scheme, Modi said the scheme is applicable to informal sector workers earning less than Rs 15,000 per month and will assure a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 for beneficiaries after the age of 60. The beneficiary will have to contribute between Rs 55-200 per month and the government will top it with an amount that is equal to the contribution made by the beneficiary.
Claiming that enrolment into PM-SYM will be hassle-free as beneficiaries will have to submit Aadhar number, bank account details and mobile number, Modi said, “You will not have to give any proof of how much you are earning… You will not have to produce any certificate, as this Modi believes in your honesty. I have the biggest trust in the honesty of country’s poor and labourers.”
Keeping the issue of air strikes in Pakistan alive, Modi during his speech took on his political rivals saying, “They want to strike on Modi, but this Modi wants to strike on terror.” Without naming any political party or leader, the PM said, “They are saying, come lets remove Modi and I say come lets remove poverty and corruption from the country.” he said adding that the opposition was cobbling up a “mahamilavat” alliance to remove him, while he was working to safeguard the interest of workers and farmers.