Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday has launched the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, by transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers, a senior official of the agriculture ministry said. Another one crore farmers will be covered in the next two or three days, the official added.
The scheme, which was announced in the NDA government's Interim Budget this year, various Opposition leaders took to social media to criticise it on Sunday. Many said the scheme is not really bettering the ongoing farmers' crisis.
What is this farmers' scheme?
Under the PM-KISAN programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, will be given direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from this scheme. The programme was made effective from 1 December, 2018, and the first instalment for the period until 31 March, 2019, will be paid this year.
The cut-off date to determine the eligibility of beneficiaries was 1 February. Changes, if any, in the cut-off date to check for eligibility to avail of the scheme for the next five years will only be considered with the approval of the Union Cabinet.
However, the benefit will be allowed on the transfer of ownership of cultivable land only on account of succession due to the death of the landowner.
Who is eligible?
A small and marginal landholder farmer family is eligible for the PM-KISAN scheme. To calculate the benefits, the "family" is defined as "a family comprising of husband, wife and minor children (up to 18 years of age) who collectively own cultivable land up to 2 hectares as per land records of the concerned state or Union Territory".
The following are ineligible to get the benefits:
- All institutional landholders
- Farmer families where one or more of members belong to the following categories:
i. Former and present holders of constitutional posts
ii. Former and present ministers/state ministers and former/present members of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/state legislative assemblies/state legislative councils, former and present mayors of municipal corporations, former and present chairpersons of district panchayats
iii. All serving or retired officers and employees of Central/state government ministries/offices/departments and its field units Central or state PSEs and attached offices/autonomous institutions under the government as well as regular employees of local bodies (excluding multi-tasking staff/Class IV/Group D employees)
iv. All superannuated/retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs 10,000 or more (excluding multi-tasking staff/Class IV/Group D employees)
v. All Persons who paid income tax in last assessment year
vi. Professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants and architects registered with professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices
The existing land-ownership system in states and Union Territories were used to identify beneficiaries. Those whose names appear in land records till 1 February, 2019, are eligible to avail of the benefit. If a landholder farmer family has land parcels spread across different village/revenue records, then the land will be pooled to determine the benefit.
Having an Aadhaar card is mandatory to avail the benefits of the farmers' scheme. In cases where the beneficiaries do not have Aadhaar identification, alternate prescribed documents can be presented. But all beneficiaries without an Aadhaar card will have to sign up for the scheme after receiving their first instalment to receive subsequent instalments of the PM-KISAN funds.
How does it work?
Funds will be transferred to the bank account of the beneficiaries through a state notional account. For transfer of benefit, district-wise lists of beneficiaries will be certified and uploaded by the states or Union Territories on the online portal of the PM-KISAN.
The Centre will transfer the funds electronically to the beneficiary's bank account through the state notional account on a pattern similar to MGNREGS.
How much does it cost?
For the 2018-19 financial year, a Budget provision of Rs 20,000 crore has been allocated for the disbursal of this financial benefit to the eligible landholding small and marginal farmers' families. Similarly, a budgetary provision of Rs 75,000 crore has been kept aside for the 2019-20 financial year.
For more information, visit the official website for the scheme pmkisan.nic.in.
Updated Date: Feb 25, 2019 11:16:23 IST