The government’s Donate-a-Pension initiative to build up a retirement kitty for unorganised workers, including domestic helps, has failed to garner enough responses, reported The Economic Times.
The number of beneficiaries enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) scheme has slowed considerably in fiscal year 2022-23, strengthening the case for a major revamp of the initiative.
Only 14,518 unorganised workers enrolled under the scheme between April 1 and May 25, government data showed, bringing average enrolment in a month to a little over 7,000. This is about half the average monthly enrolment of 13,452 or annual addition of 1,61,432 beneficiaries in financial year 2021-22.
The labour ministry’s Donate-a-Pension initiative in March was aimed at reviving the PM-SYM as the Covid-19 pandemic had severely hit enrolments under the pension scheme after millions of workers lost their jobs in the wake of the nationwide lockdown in 2020.
Under the initiative, people or employers can donate the premium contribution for their immediate support staff such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers, caregivers, nurses, in their household or establishment or any other eligible unorganised workers in the age group of 18-40 years, to provide them old-age protection through the PM-SYM pension scheme.
The donor had to pay a minimum of one year’s contribution amounting to ₹660 and maximum up to ₹2,400, depending on the age of the beneficiary.
In the first month of its launch, only 100 employers donated pensions for their domestic help, minister of state for labour and employment Rameswar Teli said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha last month.