Of the innumerable government schemes available in India, only a minor section of the country’s almost 1.36 billion population avails and benefits from them.
India formulates welfare schemes for a cross section of the country’s population with the objective of targeting multiple problems that the citizens face. Yet, the masses are not even aware of them, let alone make use of them.
Take the example people of Raigad district of Maharashtra for instance. Around 52 women freed from prostitution or who are divorced or widows and 15 people with disabilities receive anything between Rs 600 to 900 every month from the State government.
The beneficiaries have subscribed to the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana that aims to support the needy financially.
For a long time these people could not utilise the benefits of this particular scheme simply because they did not know about it. It was the Jan Kalyan Sanstha, an NGO run by husband-wife Bhagwan and Poonam Sawant that helped them and close to 100 families resolve issues like illiteracy, health, poverty and unemployment via government schemes. Read more here.
This article enumerates five prominent schemes that we feel you should know about:
1) Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
This central scheme offers a platform for universal access to banking services, like basic savings bank account, remittances facility, insurance and pension.
As per the Government, of the total accounts opened, 60 per cent are in rural areas and 40 per cent in urban areas. Share of female account holders is about 51 per cent.
- There is no criteria for minimum balance
- Overdraft of Rs. 10,000 is available for one account per household, preferably lady of the household.
- 4 per cent interest per annum on opening the account
- Accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh
- Life insurance cover of Rs. 30,000
Eligibility Criteria: Anyone from the weaker section of the society. Minors below 10 can also avail the scheme provided a guardian is available to maintain the account.
Where to apply: Account can be opened in any bank branch or Business Correspondent (Bank Mitra) outlet. Click here to know more and download the form.
2) Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
This scheme is a one year renewable life insurance plan. A life cover of Rs 2 lakh is provided at an annual premium of Rs 330 payable at the time of renewal of the plan. The premium will be deducted from the account holder’s savings bank account through ‘auto debit’ facility.
- Income Tax benefits and exemptions will be available as per the income tax laws which are subject to change from time to time.
- If one wishes to exit the scheme at any point, she/he may join again in future by submitting a declaration of good health in the prescribed proforma.
- There is no maturity or surrender benefit under this plan.
- Account holder’s insurance will be terminated once she/he attains the age of 55
- Account can also be closed due to insufficiency of balance for debiting premium or if the bank shuts down.
Eligibility Criteria: People aged between 18-50 who hold a savings account can apply for the scheme.
Where to apply: The form can be downloaded online and can be submitted to your bank. A few banks also offer SMS and net banking based enrollment. Click here to know more.
3) Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
Part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana, SSY aims to meet education and marriage related expenses of the girl child.
- Tax deduction benefits of up to Rs 1.5 lakh
- In one financial year, minimum amount of Rs 1,000 and maximum Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited.
- The parent or guardian will have to invest for 15 years from the date of account opening. Thereafter the account will continue to earn interest till maturity.
- If the girl wants, she can remove 50 per cent of the amount from the account after attaining the age of 18 years for higher education purposes.
Eligibility Criteria: Account can be opened only in the name of girl child who is below the age of 10 at the time of opening of the account. Only two SSY accounts are permitted per family.
4) Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (ABPMJAY)
Touted as the world’s largest health insurance scheme, ABPMJAY was launched to cover ten crore poor families in urban and rural areas. It offers an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family.
- The process is paperless and cashless in public hospitals
- Free treatment available at all public and private hospitals (listed by government) in times of need.
- No limit on the age and size of the family
- Scheme covers all pre-existing conditions from the time the scheme comes into force.
- The insurance covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.
Eligibility Criteria: People from economically backward section including families with no adult members between 16 and 59, families with one disabled member, manual scavengers, tribal groups, ragpicker, beggar, domestic help, construction workers, sanitation workers, public transport drivers, waiters, peons, mechanic, etc.
To know more click here.
5) National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP)
The NSAP is a social security scheme for the welfare of elderly, disabled, widows and families whose primary breadwinner has died. The scheme is supposed to fulfill article 41 of the Indian Constitution which directs the Centre and State governments to support unemployed, elderly, sick and disabled citizens.
Key Points: It comprises the following sub-schemes:
- Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS): Monthly, beneficiary gets Rs 200 up to 79 years and Rs 500 from once the beneficiary turns 80
- Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme: Widow (between 40-49) get Rs 200 from both State and Central government.
- Indira Gandhi National Disability Pension Scheme: An adult from BPL with an 80 per cent disability gets Rs 200 from both State and Central government.
- Annapurna Scheme: The beneficiary get 10 kilos of food grains like rice and wheat every month.
- National Family Benefit Scheme: A BPL family is eligible to get a lump sum of Rs 20,000 in case the breadwinner (aged between 18-64) dies
Eligibility Criteria: People from Below Poverty Line families can avail the scheme. Depending on the sub-scheme, the criteria changes. Here’s a full list of criteria.
To know more about the scheme click here.
All the schemes can be availed by people residing in rural and urban areas. Empower a person socially and financially by informing them about these schemes.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)
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