As per the figures shared by the district lead bank, Bank of India, 608 applications from rural areas have received for the scheme while 671 from urban areas. Out of 1,279 as many as 1,261 bank accounts attached for the scheme are from public sector banks.
Compared to the pension scheme, there are more applicants for Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana in the district. Both the schemes have received 1,45,474 and 1,48,063 applications so far.
M G Kulkarni, general manager of lead district bank, Bank of India said, "It is challenge for us to convince the people about importance of the pension scheme. People are aware of the pension schemes up to some extent but still there is little response from the people for it. We are working out some plans to increase its reach-out."
Sources close to the development said that the planning of the scheme has some problems. The maximum pension offered in the scheme is Rs 5,000 per month. Even if someone is in his or her 30s and pay higher amount as installment to get Rs 5,000 per month pension; nobody is sure that after 20 years what value Rs 5,000 will have in the market. Unfortunately, no senior government official comes out and addresses this basic and pin-pointed question about the pension scheme, said the official on the condition of anonymity.
Sujit Minchekar, Shiv Sena MLA from Kolhapur district said that the government officials need to take extra efforts so that some people can participate in the scheme. Getting some pension after turning 60 is necessary and some people will benefit for sure. But there has to be more efforts than regular ways of issuing media releases and distributing leaflets. The real beneficiaries of the scheme are people from unorganized sectors working in urban areas as well as some small scale industries, he said.