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06 Jan, 2022

29 Min Read

Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

GS-III : Economic Issues Economic reforms

Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

  • Atal Pension Yojana (APY) addresses the old age income security of the working poor and the longevity risks among the workers in the unorganised sector.
  • It encourages the workers in the unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement.
  • The Government launched the scheme with effect on 1st June 2015.
  • The scheme replaces the Swavalamban Yojana / NPS Lite scheme.

Benefits of Atal Pension Yojana

  • Fixed pension for the subscribers ranging between Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000, if s/he joins and contributes between the age of 18 years and 40 years. The contribution levels would vary and would be low if the subscriber joins early and increase if s/he joins late.
  • The same pension is payable to Spouse after the death of Subscriber.
  • Return of indicative pension wealth to nominees after the death of a spouse.
  • Contributions to the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is eligible for tax benefits similar to the National Pension System (NPS). The tax benefits include the additional deduction of Rs 50,000 under section 80CCD(1).

Eligibility for Atal Pension Yojana

  • Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.
  • Any individual who is eligible to receive benefits under the APY will have to furnish proof of possession of the Aadhaar number or undergo enrolment under Aadhaar authentication. An APY subscriber will have to get the Aadhaar number recorded in his or her APY pension account and also in his/ her savings account where the periodic pension contribution instalments are debited and government co-contribution is to be credited.

Age of joining and contribution period

  • The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, the minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.

Focus of Atal Pension Yojana

  • Mainly targeted at unorganised sector workers.
  • Enrollment agencies
  • All Points of Presence (Service Providers) and Aggregators under the Swavalamban Scheme would enrol subscribers through the architecture of the National Pension System.
  • Operational Framework of APY
  • It is the Government of India Scheme, which is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. The Institutional Architecture of NPS would be utilised to enroll subscribers under APY.

About Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

  • Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is the statutory Authority established by an enactment of the Parliament, to regulate, promote and ensure orderly growth of the National Pension System (NPS) and pension schemes to which this Act applies.
  • NPS was initially notified for central government employees recruits w.e.f. 1stJan 2004 and subsequently adopted by almost all State Governments for its employees. NPS was extended to all Indian citizens (resident/non-resident/overseas) on a voluntary basis and to corporates for its employees.

Funding of Atal Pension Yojana

  • The government would provide a fixed pension guarantee for the subscribers;
  • Under the APY, the Central Government’s co-contribution of 50% of the subscriber’s contribution up to Rs. 1000 per annum, was available to each eligible subscriber, for a period of 5 years, i.e. from 2015-16 to 2019-20, who join APY before 31st March 2016 and who is not a beneficiary of any social security scheme and is not an income tax payer.
  • The government would also reimburse the promotional and development activities including incentives to the contribution collection agencies to encourage people to join the APY.
  • Age of Joining, Contribution Levels, Fixed Monthly Pension and Return of Corpus to the nominee of subscribers
  • The Table of contribution levels, fixed monthly pension to subscribers and his spouse and return of corpus to nominees of subscribers and the contribution period are given below. For example, to get a fixed monthly pension between Rs. 1,000 per month and Rs. 5,000 per month, the subscriber has to contribute on monthly basis between Rs. 42 and Rs. 210, if he joins at the age of 18 years. For the same fixed pension levels, the contribution would range between Rs. 291 and Rs. 1,454, if the subscriber joins at the age of 40 years.

Source: PIB

Smart Cities Mission (SCM)

GS-III : Economic Issues Infrastructure

About Smart Cities Mission (SCM)

  1. For economic growth, improve Quality of life, and local development, harness technology to create smart outcomes. It will cover 100 cities and will be from 2015 to 2020. It is a mission mode project.
  2. The Smart City Mission is under MoHUA. SCM will be operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
    1. Center will give Rs. 48000 crores over 5 years with Rs. 100 crore per city per year.
    2. An equal amount (on a matching basis) will be given by State/ ULB.
  3. Smart City Scheme Strategy: Pan city initiative; Develop areas step by step; AMRUT follows a project-based approach, the Smart Cities Mission follows an area-based strategy; Retrofitting; Redevelopment and Greenfield.
  4. Core Infrastructure components: Water, electricity, sanitation (SWM), public transport, affordable housing, IT connectivity, sustainable environment, the safety of citizens, Good governance, health and education.
  5. Convergence with AMRUT, SBM, HRIDAY, Digital India, Skill Development, HfA etc.
  6. For the 1st time, the MoUD programme uses Challenge or Competition method to select cities for funding. Hence Competitive and Cooperative federalism.
  7. Participation will be enabled by Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and by using ICT.
  8. Selection of 100 Smart Cities: Smart City aspirants are selected through a ‘City Challenge Competition.

Finance Commission has recommended a performance-based challenge fund of Rs. 8,000 crores to States for the incubation of new cities

  • The XV Finance Commission, in its report submitted to the Government of India, has recommended a performance-based challenge fund of? 8,000 crore to States for incubation of new cities.
  • Is the amount available for each proposed new city is? 1,000 crore and a State can have only one new city under the proposed scheme.
  • Thus, a maximum of eight States can avail of this grant for eight new cities over the award period of the Commission.
  • Moreover, Area Based development is a key strategic component of the Smart Cities Mission, launched on June 25, 2015.
  • Area Based development models include city improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and/or city extension (greenfield development).
  • 100 cities have been selected for development as Smart Cities over 4 rounds of competition conducted between January 2016 to June 2018.

Source: PIB

SAAR program

GS-III : Economic Issues Housing sector

SAAR program

  • As a part of Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, Smart Cities Mission, MoHUA has launched the “Smart cities and Academia Towards Action & Research (SAAR)” program, a joint initiative of MoHUA, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and leading Indian academic institutions of the country.

  • Under the program, 15 premier architecture & planning institutes of the country will be working with Smart Cities to document landmark projects undertaken by the Smart Cities Mission.
  • The documents will capture the learnings from best practices, provide opportunities for engagement on urban development projects to students, and enable real-time information flow between urban practitioners and academia.
  • The SAAR project includes 75 urban projects distributed across 47 Smart cities.

Click here to read about Smart Cities Mission

Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Modi’s vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural, political, and economic identity. The official journey of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commenced on 12th March 2021 which starts a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of Independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2022.

Source: PIB

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