67.11L farmers miss PM KISAN scheme benefits

| | New Delhi
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67.11L farmers miss PM KISAN scheme benefits

Monday, 18 March 2019 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

As many as 67.11 lakh small and marginal farmers of West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim have left out of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme as these States have not uploaded their details on the PM Kisan portal while 1.65 crore forms have been returned to States and Union Territories for rectification of errors and various discrepancies including resubmission for validation.

The three States are besides Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Lakshadweep where funds have not been transferred to the eligible farmers as uploaded data has not been verified and request for fund release has not been made.

On the other hand, the government has sought the views of the Election Commission (EC) about the PM-Kisan yojna  in which BJP-ruled states have taken the lead in sending names of small and marginal landholders who are eligible to receive Rs6,000 a year in three instalments.  If the scheme is put on hold, farmers in most non-BJP ruled states such as West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh would have to wait longer for the benefit, while others would soon be eligible for the second instalment of Rs2,000 in April. More than 65 per cent of the farmers who have received the first instalment are in BJP-ruled states and a few others including Punjab and southern States.

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said that the estimated total eligible farmers for West Bengal is 67,11,230 and in case of West Bengal opting for scheme Rs1342 crore would have benefitted by the eligible farmers of West Bengal by the first installment of Rs2,000. Similarly, 55,090 farmers in Sikkim and 15,880 in Delhi could not receive their share from the Rs11 crore and Rs3 crore funds meant for them under the scheme.

“As on date 33 States and UTs have uploaded 4.76 Crore beneficiary data. Out of this, 3.11 crore beneficiary data was found valid after passing through the validation process including Public Finance Management System (PFMS) validation.

Fund has been transferred to around 2.75 crore beneficiaries. For another 22 Lakh beneficiaries, States/UTs have to submit requests for transfer of funds. Transfer of funds for around 8 Lakh beneficiaries is under process. 1.65 Crore beneficiary data which was returned to States/UTs is pending with the State Governments for rectification of errors, discrepancies and resubmission for validation,” the minister said.

In the interim Budget, the Narendra Modi Government announced a direct income support of Rs6,000 per year in three equal installments to 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers with land holding below two hectares or five acres under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.  The first round of payment for Rs2,000 has to be made before the end of financial year 2018-19. Over 40 per cent of the eligible farmers in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Andaman & Nicobar have received the first installment, he said. In Jammu & Kashmir, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Telangana, Tamil Nadu too, the installment has been transferred to 25-40 per cent of the beneficiaries.

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