The Maharashtra State Department has decided to give pension to the licensed auto rickshaw drivers above 60 years of age. The scheme will also cover their spouse as well. The pension scheme is beneficial for auto rickshaw drivers as they do not have any pension benefits once they stop driving. The initiative will benefit over 17 lakh licensed auto rickshaw drivers and owners, which constitute about 88% of the state’s workforce.
It will be mandatory for auto rickshaw drivers to enroll under the Atal Pension Yojna (APY) (Also read: A Quick Glance Over Modi's 3 Social Security Schemes). Under this scheme, the drivers will have to pay Rs 12 p.a. as the insurance premium. The premium will be ‘auto-debit’ from the account holder’s saving bank account in one installment on or before 1st June under this scheme. The subscribers will get a fixed pension payouts varying between Rs 1000 p.a. and Rs 5000 p.a. on attaining the age of 60, depending on the contributions made. On joining the APY before the 31st December, 2015, the central government will contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs 1000 p.a.
The scheme, however, will not cover those who neither own auto rickshaws nor have permits. As reported by The Time of India, the additional transport commissioner, Mr. SB Sahasrabuddhe, has directed all regional transport officers across the state to ensure enrollments of auto rickshaw drivers for pension and insurance plans while renewing permits and issuing vehicle fitness certificates.