APY Update: Why was there a fight on social media between Nirmala Sitharaman and Jairam Ramesh regarding Atal Pension Scheme?

APY Update: Why was there a fight on social media between Nirmala Sitharaman and Jairam Ramesh regarding Atal Pension Scheme?

Atal Pension Yojana: 2024 Lok Sabha elections are round the corner. So there is bound to be conflict between the party and the opposition. Now the issue has become Modi government's ambitious pension scheme, Atal Pension Yojana, regarding which a war of words has started on the social media platform style="text-align: justify;">It first started from Jairam Ramesh when he raised questions on Atal Pension Scheme and said that the Finance Minister was enumerating the benefits of Atal Pension Scheme in Bengaluru on March 24. Just a day later, facts have come to light that about one-third of the subscribers who are connected to the scheme were not taken permission to join the scheme. Officers added without permission to accomplish their targets.  

The Finance Minister was in Bengaluru on the 24th of March, where she was proclaiming the benefits of the Atal Pension Yojana initiated by the Modi Government as its “flagship social security program.” Just a day later, here’s what emerged:

• Up to a third of the subscribers to… pic.twitter.com/wRewnCA1Nh

— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) March 26, 2024

Jairam Ramesh wrote on social media platform He said that the returns are not attractive because it is a fixed income pension in which the value decreases as inflation increases. Jairam Ramesh described Atal Pension Yojana as paper shares and said that it has been designed very poorly. 

The Finance Minister retaliated on this post of Jairam Ramesh. Attacking Jairam Ramesh, Nirmala Sitharaman wrote that he is ignorant of the basic principles of designing a good pension scheme. The Finance Minister said, Atal Pension Yojana has been designed on the basis of best practice so that premium payment continues automatically unless the subscriber opts out, which is in the interest of the subscribers. This allows people to decide to discontinue, rather than needing to make the decision to continue every year. With this, people save for their retirement.

On Atal Pension Yojana, @Jairam_Ramesh known for using verbal sophistry to hide facts, is being malicious or is ignorant of the basic tenets of designing a good pension scheme.

Atal Pension Yojana is designed based on best practice. choice architecture to automatically continue… https://t.co/5y6Gn3MBYx

— Nirmala Sitharaman (Modi Ka Parivar) (@nsitharaman) March 26, 2024

Finance Minister wrote in his post, Jairam Ramesh is calling it fixed income pension. But they have not fact checked. The government gives a minimum guarantee of 8 percent on Atal Pension Yojana, irrespective of the interest rates or returns. The Finance Minister said that this is an attractive guaranteed minimum return. The Government of India pays subsidy to PFRDA to compensate for the shortfall in actual returns. According to the Finance Minister, if the customers of Atal Pension Yojana get more returns on their investments, then the subscribers will get more returns. He told that at present the actual return is more than 8%. 

In fact, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) found in its sample survey that one in three subscribers left Atal Pension Yojana because their permission was not taken. To meet the target, bank employees enrolled in the scheme without informing them.   

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