New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government on Friday announced a mega pension scheme in the 2019-20 interim budget to provide assured pension of ₹3,000 per month to nearly 10 crore people working in the informal sector. The informal workers joining the pension scheme at 18 years will pay ₹55 per month and those at 29 years will pay ₹100. The pension will be paid once they reach the age of 60.
The government also boosted allocation for the rural employment guarantee programme by ₹5,000 crore to ₹60,000 crore. The scheme is seen as a lifeline for small farmers and agricultural labourers in times of rural distress, given that it provides 100 days of unskilled employment.
While presenting the interim budget, finance minister Piyush Goyal said ₹19,000 crore has been allocated for Pradhan Mantra Gram Sadak Yojana, adding that children will now be able to avail bus services to school and back, instead of walking the distance. "MGNREGA allocation has also been raised to ₹60,000 crore for FY19-20."
The Centre also announced a significant financial outlay for the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme, and ₹1.58 trillion for Indian Railways to expand the railway infrastructure in the country.
The defence budget was increased for the first time to ₹3 lakh crore in 2019-20 “for securing our borders and to maintain preparedness of highest order and if necessary additional funds will be provided," Goyal said.
Highlighting the success of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Goyal said ₹3 trillion has been recovered so far by banks through IBC. "Now bigger businessmen are also concerned about repaying debt."
Stressing on the government's focus on healthcare, Goyal said the Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme will help hundreds and thousands of poor people to get quality treatment. Twenty one AIIMs have been commissioned, of which 14 were announced since 2014.
Earlier, Goyal said fiscal deficit has been brought down to 3.4% of GDP in 2018-19. Current account deficit is likely to be 2.5% of GDP in 2018-19, he added.