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Nirmala Sitharaman counters Jairam Ramesh's criticism of Pension Scheme
3/26/2024 10:25:35 PM
NEW DELHI, Mar 26: Reacting to Jairam Ramesh's remark that Atal Pension Yojana is a "poorly designed scheme", Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman today slammed the Congress general secretary and said that the Congress prefers that the poor should not have pensions so that they are forced to rely on government handouts, which keeps them dependent on "dynasty politicians".
The Congress today attacked the Modi government over the Atal Pension Yojana, alleging it is a "very poorly-designed scheme" and a "paper tiger" that needs officials to hoodwink and coerce people into participating in it.
Lashing out at Congress' criticism of the Atal Pension Yojana, Ms Sitharaman said, "On the 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."
She further said that the Atal Pension Yojana is designed based on best practice choice architecture to automatically continue the premium payment unless the subscriber opts out.
"This is a deliberate and beneficial feature which is in the best interest of the subscribers. Instead of requiring people to decide each year to continue, they have to take a decision to discontinue. This makes many of them take the right decision and save for their retirement," she posted on X.
"Richard Thaler (Nobel prize winner in Economics 2017) and Cass Sunstein (a Professor who worked in the Obama administration) are known for their book 'Nudge' which explains the need for proper 'choice architecture' in designing public schemes," she said.
"@Jairam_Ramesh calls it a fixed income pension. He has not bothered to check facts. The minimum return under the APY is guaranteed by the GoI to be at least 8 per cent, regardless of prevailing interest rates and returns. This is an attractive guaranteed minimum return. GoI pays a subsidy to PFRDA to make up for any shortfall in actual returns. If higher investment returns are received on the contributions of subscribers of APY, higher pension would be paid to the subscribers: In fact, currently the returns are more than 8 per cent," she added.
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