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Not many takers for this National Pension Scheme! Only 30,000 accounts opened; Goa has just one

Pratishtha Nangia
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National Pension Scheme (NPS) for Traders: There have been not many takers for the National Pension Scheme for Traders, Shopkeepers and Self-Employed Persons launched by the Central government in September 2019. According to data presented by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, the highest number of people opting for the scheme in any state across the country is not more than 9,000 while a state like Goa has just one account under the scheme as on February 3, 2020.

The NPS for traders is a voluntary, contributory pension scheme where the government assures a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3000 to all the beneficiaries after they become 60 years old. In case the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary will receive 50 per cent of the pension as a family pension.

Anyone between 18 and 40 years who is a retail trader, a shopkeeper with an annual turnover equal to or below Rs 1.5 crore or any self-employed person (paying taxes) is eligible for enrolment in this scheme. People can self-enrol themselves via an online portal. Moreover, all the beneficiaries have to contribute 50 per cent of the subscription amount, the remaining 50 per cent is contributed by the government. As on February 3, 2020, around 30,000 accounts were opened under the scheme, said Thakur.

Uttar Pradesh witnessed the highest number of enrollments with 8,895 accounts under the scheme. Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are the states with second and third highest enrollments with 4,899 and 3,929 accounts opened, respectively. On the contrary, Dadra And Nagar Haveli, Nagaland and Manipur did not open more than 16 accounts.

The pension fund is managed by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. It is also acting as a central recordkeeping agency and is responsible for pension payout, Thakur said.