Enrolment for the much-talked-about pension scheme for farmers, called the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Mandhan Yojana, will begin from August 1 to enable a soft launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the same month.
According to senior officials, Modi is expected to formally announce the scheme in his Independence Day speech or at a special function later in August. But before this, a critical mass of registrations numbering 4-5 million is expected to be added to the pension scheme.
Just as in the case of PM-KISAN, the pension scheme will be officially rolled out only after a requisite number of beneficiaries are enrolled.
In PM-KISAN, the scheme was officially rolled after one crore registrations were completed.
Farmers who have already registered for the quarterly income support of Rs 2,000 under PM-KISAN, will be the first to be targeted for the PM Pension scheme as well.
But a crucial differentiating factor is that while the PM-KISAN is for all farmers, PM Pension Yojana is only for small and marginal farmers who own less than two hectares of land.
Officials said common service centres (CSCs) have been roped in to roll out the pension scheme.
Under the scheme, farmers will have to contribute Rs 100 per month that seeks to provide minimum fixed monthly pension of Rs 3,000 on attainment of 60 years, according to the government.
The Centre will also contribute an equal amount to the pension fund to be managed by Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which will be responsible for the payout, it said.
The Modi 2.0 government, in its first Cabinet meeting, had approved a separate pension scheme for farmers with an aim to cover five crore beneficiaries in the first three years, which would cost the exchequer Rs 10,774.5 crore per annum. A sum of Rs 900 crore was allocated for the scheme in Budget 2019-20 by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Farmers can also allow contribution to be made directly from the benefits drawn from the PMKISAN scheme.
There will also be an online grievance redressal system for complete transparency.
The scheme is identical to the existing pension schemes for unorganised workers and the one proposed for traders, officials said.