With the improvement in financial literacy, people started realizing that savings are an imperative activity, irrespective of one’s occupation or income. The government has also been doing its part in encouraging such savings and investments by introducing various schemes. As we all know India is an agro-based economy, some of these schemes are particularly extended to our farmers.
Though farmers toil on the field, they depend on the mercy of nature for their income. Even if farmers make a substantial amount of harvest, they are not paid what they deserve in most of the cases. This is one of the main reasons why we see thousands of farmer-suicides every year. In order to change this adverse scenario and revive farmers from their debt burden, they are given access to the following schemes:
●Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP): The Kisan Vikas Patra scheme was launched especially for farmers, which is now open for everyone to invest. This scheme promises to double the savings in a particular period (based on the interest rate set by the government). At the current interest rate of 6.9%, the maturity period is 124 months. Anyone can join this scheme in registered banks or post offices. Any resident individual of 18 years is qualified to invest in this scheme. However, parents/guardians can also invest on behalf of their children. NRIs and HUFs remain non-eligible for the KVP scheme. One can invest a minimum of Rs. 1000 and then in multiples of 100 without an upper cap. For a long-term investor, the KVP scheme comes as a risk-free option due to a sovereign guarantee. The scheme has a minimal documentation process and there are no penalties for a premature withdrawal after 2.5 years. The major setback to the investors is that there are no tax benefits for the income in this scheme, and might result in much lower returns after taxation.
●PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana: This is a pension scheme where about 50 million small/marginalized farmers will be receiving at least Rs. 3000 per month. The eligibility to start investing in this scheme is that the farmer should be in the age range of 18 to 40. The farmers could invest Rs.55 to Rs. 200 every month, where the government will also make an equal contribution. This is done until the retirement age of 60, after which they start receiving the pension amount.
●Savings Account in Post Office: The significance of Post Offices is that they cover most of the rural regions in India. The risk factor is completely negligible here. Also, the savings account can be opened with investments as small as Rs. 500, wherein a fixed rate of interest is paid. The interest income from these Savings Accounts up to Rs. 10,000 is exempted from taxes.
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