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Government Transfers Rs 5,125 Crore Under PM Kisan Scheme to Farmers amid Covid-19 Relief Package

The Central Government has recently taken a big step under the PM-Kisan scheme. It is a central sector scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India. It is a direct income support to farmer families.

Tooba Maher
PM-Kisan Scheme
PM-Kisan Scheme

The Central Government has recently taken a big step under the PM-Kisan scheme. It is a central sector scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India. Under the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, an income support of Rs.6000 per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in 3 equal installments of Rs.2000 each every four months. The scheme is a direct income support to farmer families.

PM Kisan Scheme: Big Step of Central Government

Now, the Centre has transferred Rs 5,125 crore under the PM-Kisan, flagship direct income support scheme since the coronavirus relief package was declared. Though, the target is to disburse April to July Rs 2,000 instalment each to about 9 crore farmers as soon as possible, front-loading release of the money which was to be transferred by mid-April latest.

Coronavirus Relief Package for Farmers

The government on 26 March has declared Rs 1.7 lakh crore relief package for the poor & vulnerable sections of the society. Since the scheme was launched last year, more than Rs 58,300 crore has been transferred into the bank accounts of 9.07 crore, 8.13 crore, 6.7 crore and 5.25 crore farmers (not mutually exclusive sets) as first, second, third and fourth instalments of PM-Kisan, respectively. However, at the beginning the scheme was meant to cover only small & marginal farmers, but later it was expanded for all land-owning farmers with some exclusion criteria.

The total number of farmers likely to be covered by PM-Kisan scheme will be around 11 crore by the end of Financial Year 2021. Till now, the government has validated data of around 9.4 crore farmers. West Bengal, having an estimated of over 70 lakh farmers, is the only state out of the PM-Kisan ambit as it has refused to share & authenticate farmers’ data.

The budget estimate for this scheme for FY20 was Rs 75,000 crore, the revised estimate is Rs 54,370 crore. The outlay for Financial Year 2021 is Rs 75,000 crore. Several land-owning migrant workers who have returned to their villages after this lockdown will also require the PM-Kisan scheme benefit.

According to Pushpendra Singh, president of Kisan Shakti Sangh, “The government should fix a target and transfer the amount within a week. The Centre, as an adhoc measure, should top up Rs 2,000 in this instalment as soon as possible. The PM-Kisan benefit should also be raised to Rs 12,000/year by the Centre & additional equal contribution by states.”

He further added, “Farmers require the support badly to meet the labour costs so that they undertake harvesting of rabi crops. When trading in mandis has stopped, there is no hope of selling their produce in near future. Even milk prices have dropped by 30 percent and many farmers are unable to sell their milk. So, the government’s financial support is important for the farmers which would help generate rural demand.”

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