There are various welfare schemes announced by the Indian Government at all the levels across sections of the society. These schemes could be Central, State or joint, however, their main intent has always been to provide basic civil amenities to all the citizens at affordable prices and empower the people of India. However, many of the schemes often go under-utilised due to lack of knowledge of their existence.
Here are some of the government schemes available in India that you could either utilise yourself or educate someone who needs it.
A bank account is the most basic of one's needs today. Visit any bank branch of your choice and open an account under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which comes with zero balance benefits.
The account comes with benefits:
- Accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh
- Life insurance cover of Rs 30,000
- Overdraft facility of Rs 5,000
- Mobile banking facility
- No minimum balance requirements
- Interest on bank account balance
- Useful to avail direct benefit transfer (DBT) of government schemes (like subsidy on LPG)
Note that those who wish to avail the cheque book facility will have to maintain minimum balance in the account.
Those without a valid government issued ID can open a "small account" under the JDY scheme. These accounts come with restrictions and a validity of 1 year only. To continue and avail all services, one needs to submit their valid ID proof in due time.
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is a credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) wherein a subsidy is provided on the interest to be paid on home loan.
In terms of area of residence, the scheme is categorised as Urban (PMAY-U) and Gramin (PMAY-G). In terms of income, they are further categorised as:
- Economical Weaker Section (EWS)
- Lower Income Group(LIG)
- Middle Income Group (MIG)1 and 2
Those with an annual income less Rs 18 lakh per annum who wish to purchase their first house, can avail subsidy on home loan under the PMAY scheme.
Further, you should look at your local municipal authority's upcoming development projects to avail houses at a good rate. For example, the Delhi Development Authority had lauched a housing scheme this year which is now closed. Similar schemes are issued by development authorities of other cities as well.
Term life insurance
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana comes with a sum assured of Rs 2 lakh on the death of the insured member for any reason. The amount will be payable to the nominee.
- The scheme can be availed at any any Indian bank.
- The insured has to be between 18 to 50 years.
- The insurance needs an annual premium payment which will directly be auto-debited by the bank from the account holder's savings account.
- The cover shall be for one year starting from June 1 to May 31 of next year.
- The assurance will be terminated when the insured member turns 55 years old or if the premium has not been paid.
- The annual premium is Rs 330.
Last year, the government revised the premium payment structure to be based on the date of requesting to join the scheme:
- June, July and August- Annual Premium of Rs 330
- September, October and November- Premium of Rs 258
- December, January and February- Premium of Rs 172
- March, April and May- Premium of Rs 86
Under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, you can avail accidental death insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh.
Those aged between 18 to 70 years can join the scheme.
Premium to be paid towards the scheme is Rs 12 per year and this will be auto-debited from the insured member's bank account.
The cover shall be for one year starting from June 1 to May 31 of next year.
In case of total and irrecoverable loss of sight of one eye or loss of use of one hand or one foot, the sum assured is Rs 1 lakh.
If you are employed in the organised sector, you are already a part of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) scheme. If you work in the unorganised sector or you are self-employed, you can enroll in the Atal Pension Yojana where a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month is guaranteed.
You will need to pay annual premium as per your choice and the government will make an equal contribution towards the scheme. Those aged between 18 to 40 years can join the scheme.
To build additional retirement corpus, you can also join more lucrative government schemes like PPF (Public Provident Fund) and NPS (National Pension Scheme).
The Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana provides cash incentives of Rs 4,000 to women, aged 19 years and above, on their first two live birth.
There are various other schemes for child education planning and education loans that can be availed. These are not universal and are usually reserved for a certain section only.
You will also find such educational benefit schemes from state governments.
While the Sukanya Samriddhi scheme can be utilised only to benefit the education of a girl child, it is a high-interest yielding option.