Pension scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has been modified to make it more viable and acceptable for informal sector workers with intermittent incomes, an official statement said on Thursday.
The provision of mandatory monthly contributions and penal provisions for non-contribution towards the scheme by subscribers have been removed and the new rules allow individual subscribers to make monthly, quarterly or half yearly contributions instead, a finance ministry statement said.
The discontinuation of monetary contribution towards the pension scheme has been greatly modified in favour of the subscriber, while any account will not be deactivated and closed until the account balance with self-contributions minus the government’s co-contributions becomes zero due to deduction of account maintenance charges and fees, the statement added.
Penalty for delayed payment has been simplified to Re 1 per month for a contribution of Rs 100, and the earlier practice of levying different penalties for different slabs has been done away with.
Premature exit from the scheme before 60 years of age was not allowed except in the event of death or terminal illness but now a subscriber can voluntarily exit from the scheme and receive his contribution along with the interest earned on it after deduction of account maintenance charges, the statement said. However, the government’s co-contribution along with the interest earned on it will not be paid.
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata in May, APY aims to provide a minimum monthly guaranteed pension to subscribers ranging from Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000.
Many will not disagree that the PM Modi is fairly unpopular among a certain popular elite within the country. However, he has earned an immeasurable number of admirers outside the country. The fact why he is an eyesore for certain groups of people and celebrities while they are bowled over and ever supportive of specific dull-witted and inexperienced leaders is something very weird and contrasting. This phenomenon defies the long-held assumption that “education” makes one rational and free from the psychological shortfall. Nevertheless, PM Modi is least bothered what his smart detractors think and do against him. He hardly wishes evil upon anyone. He has multiple of reasons to stay buoyed and cheery. The flood of praises coming from outside the country has always swelled PM Modi’s chest. Therefore, even in the foreign soil he goes, without a hitch, shouting at full throttle —‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.
Truly, it’s totally wrong to ignore many achievements associated with PM Modi. Yes, he has been chosen to be honored with the highest civilian award – Order of Zayed by the UAE government. Not just that, the countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Palestine also have come forward to honor the Indian PM with their respective highest awards. A few months back, the UN as well has crowned him with the Champions of the Earth, the highest environmental honor. His unfaltering dedication and devotion to execute formulated policies and planes have yielded positive results, though some section of powerful people try to undermine and demean them all.
What is most attractive in PM Modi is that he is smartly clever to strike the personal kinship with any individual foreign leaders and diplomats. Yes, due to his personal touch and warmth, the Modi government has been able to pull off many thorny external affairs and issues too quickly. Of course, this is doubtlessly praiseworthy. Yes, good truths should be not suppressed and falsehood should not be exaggerated.
However, a very strange vibe is noticed in the country. It is nothing but an unenthusiastic silence maintained by the popular media when Modi receives some accolades and appreciation. Many choose not to mention it at all, not even as news-item. This all makes everything all the more conspicuous. Well, this, in fact, only prompts the swarm of netizens to be more active in social media, their battlefields. They are seen furiously vocal. The ranting, raving, and name-calling against the backdrop of the importance given to a certain class of leaders make the situation less pleasant and logical. Not just that people in the social media are quick to throw up contrasting examples citing how media goes gaga over a “less intelligent lot” while keeping deafening silence over things that bring glory and fame to the nation. This is doubtlessly a bizarre development. This way the detractors or opponents always run the risk of losing their own integrity.
A business done by sacrificing integrity ends up in disaster. Opposition to ideas and political parties is always welcome, which is democratic, but the biased attitude against the “truth” and positivity can only dilute the sanctity of the enterprise and professionalism. As concerned citizens, should we not first want that the light of glory and joy dispel the gloom of darkness and despair in the country? Let’s not waste our precious life by struggling to call the untruth as truth and vice versa. This exercise only contributes to polluting our mindset and the country becomes less peaceful and more vulnerable.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great Minds on India’.