Scholarship of Armed Force personnel’s kin hiked
Govt to present budget on July 5
NEW DELHI, May 31: In the first Cabinet meeting, the Government today decided to extend PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country costing Rs 87,000 crore a year and also announced over Rs 10,000 crore pension scheme for 5 crore farmers, thereby fulfilling the BJP’s poll promise.
Announcing the two key decisions, new Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Modi 2.0 Government has announced the landmark decisions for the farming community in the first Cabinet meeting.
“The Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the scheme by including all land holding eligible farmer families under the scheme, subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria,” Tomar told reporters after the meeting.
The Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) was announced in the interim Budget under which the Government decided to provide Rs 6,000 per year (in three equal instalments) to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
“Now, the revised scheme envisages to cover around 2 crore more farmers increasing the coverage of the PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries,” the Minister said.
He said total burden on the exchequer will increase by Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 87,217.50 crore for the year 2019-20.
So far, the first instalment has been given to only 3.11 crore beneficiaries and second to 2.66 crore beneficiaries, as many states did not provide the data of eligible farmers, Tomar said.
In another major decision, Tomar said the Cabinet also approved the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana under which small and marginal farmers will get a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month on attaining the age of 60 years.
“In the initial phase, the government will cover minimum 5 crore small and marginal farmers in the first three years,” he said, adding that this would cost Rs 10,774.5 crore per annum to the exchequer.
This scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for a small and marginal farmers across the country, with the entry age of 18-40 years, he said.
The Centre said it will match the contribution made by the eligible farmer in the pension fund.
After the subscriber’s death, while receiving pension, the spouse of the beneficiary will be entitled to receive 50 per cent of the pension amount, provided he/she is not already a beneficiary of the scheme.
Farmers can use benefits under PM-KISAN scheme for the making contribution under the pension scheme.
In another decision, the Government approved a hike in scholarship given to widows and wards of deceased or ex-service personnel of armed and paramilitary forces from the National Defence Fund and extended its ambit to include wards of State police officials martyred in terror or Maoist attacks.
The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000 per month to Rs. 2500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2250 per month to Rs. 3000 per month for girls, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
“The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is extended to the wards of state police officials who are/were martyred during terror/naxal attacks,” it said.
As many 500 individuals will be able to avail the quota for state police officials every year.
“Our government’s first decision dedicated to those who protect India. Major changes approved in PM’s Scholarship Scheme under the National Defence Fund including enhanced scholarships for wards of police personnel martyred in terror or Maoist attacks,” Modi tweeted.
“In line with the Prime Minister’s vision for India’s safety, security and the well-being of those who protect the nation, the very first decision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on assuming his office is approval to a major change in the ‘Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund,” the PMO said.
Under National Defence Fund, the Prime Minister’s scholarship scheme (PMSS)’ is being implemented to encourage technical and post-graduate education for the widows and wards of the deceased, ex-service personnel of Armed Forces and Para Military Forces and Railway Protection Force.
Scholarships are mainly given for medical, engineering, MBA, MCA and other equivalent technical courses.
Every year new scholarships are given for 5,500 wards of armed forces controlled by Ministry of Defence, for 2000 wards of paramilitary forces controlled by Ministry of Home Affairs and for 150 wards of forces controlled by Ministry of Railways.
The Cabinet also approved a new scheme that offers pension coverage to the trading community, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
This is a part of the Prime Minister’s vision, to provide a robust architecture of the universal social security, he said.
”India has a rich tradition of trade and commerce. Our traders continue to make a strong contribution to India’s economic growth,” he added.
Under this scheme, all shopkeepers, retail traders and self-employed persons are assured a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000 month after attaining the age of 60 years.
All small shopkeepers and self-employed persons, as well as the retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and age between 18-40 years, can enroll for this scheme, which would benefit more than three crore small shopkeepers and traders.
The scheme is based on self-declaration, as no documents are required, except Aadhaar and bank account. Interested persons can enroll themselves through more than 3,25,000 Common Service Centres, spread across the country.
The Union government will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account. For example, if a person with age of 29 years, contributes Rs 100 per month, then the Central Government also contributes the equal amount as subsidy into the subscriber’s pension account, every month.
By imitating a pension architecture for the trading community, the Prime Minister and his team have fulfilled a major promise made to the people of India, Javadekar said.
Meanwhile, the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26, with the regular budget to be presented on July 5, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Friday.
The dates of the session were decided in the first cabinet meeting of the Modi Government.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Javadekar said the first two days of the session will be devoted to swearing-in of the newly elected MPs while the Lok Sabha Speaker will be elected on June 19.
The President’s address to the joint sitting of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will take place on June 20, he said.
The economic survey will be tabled on July 4 followed by the presentation of the budget on the next day. The session will have a total of 30 sittings.
It will be the first budget of the Modi government in its second term and will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The interim budget for the year 2019-20 was presented by then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1.
Meanwhile, Modi said the newly-sworn in Government took four major decisions related to farmers’ and traders welfare in the first meeting of the Union Cabinet.
The BJP had promised these measures in its election manifesto.
“Glad that path-breaking decisions were taken in the Cabinet, the first in this tenure. Hardworking farmers and industrious traders will benefit greatly due to these decisions,” Modi tweeted after the meeting of the cabinet.
He said the decisions will enhance dignity and empowerment of several Indians.
“People first, people always,” he wrote. (PTI)
Defence Secy gets extension
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra was today given a three-month extension in service, according to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.
Mitra, a 1982-batch IAS officer of the West Bengal cadre, took over as the Defence Secretary on May 24, 2017, for a two-year term.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension to Mitra up to August 23, 2019, the order said.
Mitra was earlier secretary in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and had also been Chief Secretary of West Bengal.
Rajnath Singh was today announced as the Defence Minister. (PTI)