Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur.
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 installments of Rs 2,000 each.
Modi, while launching the scheme, warned that anyone politicising the scheme will face the wrath of farmers. "I warn those state governments who are looking to play politics with the scheme, if you indulge in this, then curse of the farmers will destroy your politics. I appeal to farmers, don't be misled by anyone," he said at the Gorakhpur rally.
Launching a scathing attack on Congress over its loan waiver schemes in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Modi said, "For us, loan waivers would have been an easy and convenient option...We also could have distributed freebies for political and election benefits, but we can't commit such a crime. Loan waivers benefit only a select few."
"This is new India. The money that the central government sends to the farmer, the full amount goes to his account. Gone are the days when the government sent 100 paise, out of which 85 paise went into the pockets of the middlemen. We have made this scheme foolproof so that no one can steal the rights of the farmers," he said.
After the scheme was launched, various Opposition leaders took to social media to share their thoughts. Many said the scheme is not really bettering the ongoing farmers' crisis:
Modi throws a pittance to few land owners as a sop just before elections, with no concern for our annadatas as we have seen since 2014. Farmers have never suffered after independece, as in the last few years and the only thing Modi cares for are his PR shoots and rich friends. — Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 24, 2019
Giving @ Rs 17 per day to few farmers just before Lok Sabha elections is pure hoodwinking. BJP reflects poor in their thinking towards farmers and solving their misery. BJP misused govt power & machinery in a brazen manner and still not hesitating. — Mayawati (@Mayawati) February 24, 2019
The money will go to the cultivating farmer as well as the absentee landlord. — P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) February 24, 2019
The farm crisis is a national crisis and needs a national solution, no poll-sop or individual state can implement change at this scale — we stand with farmers everywhere and promise to bring about a #GoldenRevolution for all farmers regardless of caste, creed or religion — Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) February 24, 2019
An installment of Rs. 2000 will not address the issue of more than 11,000 crores in unpaid dues to sugarcane farmers. The installment alone does not cover the cost of cultivation and PM-KISAN is merely a political stunt.#PMKisan @PMOIndia @yadavakhilesh #GoldenRevolution — Juhie Singh (@juhiesingh) February 24, 2019
#PMKisan will not address systemic issues in agriculture such as shortage of Mandis, delays in #MSP payments, issues of lessee farmers and sharecroppers etc. @narendramodi govt has created an agricultural crisis, @BJP4India needs to accept this.@yadavakhilesh @samajwadiparty — Juhie Singh (@juhiesingh) February 24, 2019
Conversely, BJP leaders lauded the scheme as a "mark of commitment to farmers' welfare":
A scheme which has been designed to see the smiles, and honor the hard work of Crores of Farmers across the Nation. Uttar Pradesh being the biggest beneficiary state.
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) February 24, 2019
#PMKisan Yojana is a mark of our commitment for ensuring the welfare of our #farmers. Sharing a photo with some of the beneficiaries who were among the first recipients of the #PradhanMantriKisanSammanNidhi in #Tripura during the inauguration programme held in #Agartala today. pic.twitter.com/4rxoBqPjmK — Biplab Kumar Deb (@BjpBiplab) February 24, 2019
Towards Supporting our Annadata!
A great initiative towards farmer’s welfare launched today #PMKisan by our PM @narendramodi ji, will provide assured income support to small & marginal farmers. Let us all be connected to this launch of the biggest farmers’ welfare scheme PMKISAN https://t.co/RySrP99owS
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) February 24, 2019
Joined the #PMKisan Samman Nidhi function at Gorakhpur, UP via VC from Mumbai. I am happy that 14,26,927 farmers from Maharashtra received ₹2000 directly in their respective accounts today as a part of first instalment ! pic.twitter.com/uzdUcRH1y9 — Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) February 24, 2019
In addition, the BJP in Odisha has criticised the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government for ignoring the scheme. State BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan took to Twitter to remind residents that "farmers in Odisha will also benefit from the PM-KISAN Yojana. Initially the Odisha government was unwilling to implement the pro-farmer yojana in the state. But later, the state govt has only shared details of 9 lakh farmers with the Centre."
The Centre's PM-KISAN scheme is expected to benefit 12 crore small and marginal farmer families. 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.
With inputs from ANI
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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2019 15:47:18 IST