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The Union Finance Minister has announced Swavalamban Scheme in the Union Budget 2010-11 to address the longevity risk of poorer sections of the country. Under the Swavalamban, the Government of India shall contribute a sum of Rs. 1,000 to each subscriber account of the New Pension System (NPS) during the current year and the next three years provided the subscriber contributes any amount between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 12,000 per annum. The Government has targeted to cover ten lakh subscribers each in the four years beginning 2010-11, bringing the total number of subscribers to 40 lakhs by March, 2014. The Operational Guidelines on Swavalamban Scheme have been approved and released which, inter-alia, provide the applicability, benefits, definitions of the un-organized sector, eligibility, funding, operation etc. of the Scheme.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has placed these Guidelines in public domain on its website http://www.pfrda.org.in . The Government has launched the Scheme on 26.09.2010 and the same will be implemented by the PFRDA. PFRDA has appointed various agencies all over the country, such as, Financial Sector entities, Government entities, Civil Society organizations, etc. for enrolment of subscribers and contribution collection under the Swavalamban Scheme. A higher level of enrolments under the Scheme will ensure old age income security for such subscribers in their post-retirement phase.
The Minister of Labour and Employment Shri Mallikarjun Kharge gave this information in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha yesterday.