Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana (PMKMY), which aims at providing a pension of Rs 3,000 per month to farmers after they cross the age of 60. Farmers between 18 and 40 years of age can make voluntary contributions to the scheme.
This was a day after Modi inaugurated the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) and the National Artificial Insemination Programme in Mathura.
Speaking at the launch of PMKMY on Thursday, Modi said, "I had said just after the formation of the governmnet that each and every farmer of the country will benefit from the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna. This promise has been fulfilled. And now, more and more farmers are being connected to this scheme".
He added, "Today around 6.5 crore families of farmers have received more than Rs 21,000 in their bank accounts. Among these, 8 lakh farmers families are from Jharkhand, and they have received around Rs 250 crore in their bank accounts".
A month before the Lok Sabha elections, in April, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had released its vision statement for the next five years. In its manifesto called 'Sankalp Patra', the BJP had promised investment to the tune of Rs 25 lakh crore in the next five years for rural development.
For all the farmers in the country, we will implement PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. We’d ensure pension for small and marginal farmers after 60 years of age. #BJPSankalpPatr2019 pic.twitter.com/fuzRbTQADo
— BJP LIVE (@BJPLive) April 8, 2019
The 'Sankalp Patra' was a clear indication that the BJP’s new core constituency would be rural India and farmers. The BJP manifesto had also promised to provide short-term new agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh at a 0 percent interest rate for 1-5 years.
Rural development has been the focus of the Modi-led government in its second term. This can be seen from the fact that within ten days of government formation, a meeting of state secretaries for agriculture took place to discuss the farm crisis.
In the first term, the government had been accused of ignoring agrarian distress.
Modi, in almost all his public meetings, has made it evident that water would be among his government’s top priorities. On 15 June, at a governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog, the prime minister had announced that the government would ensure piped water to every rural home by 2024.
The focus on rural development was made more inclusive by the promise of up-scaling schemes like ‘Common Service Centers’ and ‘Digital Village' initiatives, along with extending the reach of basic health care and financial services by up-scaling the existing scheme in these sectors.
Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 17:16:05 IST