The flagship social security scheme of Narendra Modi government launched in the year 2015, lapsed in August this year, but on Wednesday the Union government has decided to extend the scheme indefinitely and at the same time offer double accidental coverage. Also, further relaxation has been made in respect of age criteria by 5 years to make the scheme more lucrative for subscribers.
Scheme basically aims at providing a defined pension amount in the range of Rs. 1000- Rs 5000 to its subscribers.
After the Union cabinet meet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that in the new format the scheme will target specifically on individuals as against households. As per the government's data, more than 10 million Indians have benefitted from the scheme.
Arun Jaitley is quoted as saying, "The scheme, which was earlier for four years, lapsed in August 2018. But seeing the mass participation in this runaway-success scheme, the cabinet has decided to extend it and keep it open-ended". Also he added, "Earlier, people of age 18 to 60 years were entitled to enrol in the scheme. But looking at the rise in average age-expectancy, now we have relaxed it further to 65 years".
He also detailed that new Atal Pension Yojana accounts opened after August 28 will be eligible for an accidental insurance cover for Rs. 2 lakh as against the previous Rs. 1 lakh. Also, the overdraft limit on the account has been increased from Rs. 5000- Rs. 10,000.