Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to launch the direct income support scheme — Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidihi-PM-Kisan scheme and distribute the first instalment of Rs 2,000 during his visit to Gorakhpur and Prayagraj on February 24.
However, doubts are being raised over the implementation of the scheme in some non BJP States — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Both the States are seeking funds from the PM-Kisan yojna and want to distribute by their own to the beneficiary farmers.
As many as 1.22 crore small and marginal farmers have been enrolled by the Ministry of Agriculture till date for the PM Kisan scheme. The Modi Government intends to ensure release of first instalment to all eligible farmers — small and marginal — before the model code of conduct kicks in.
Top sources said that UP Government has enrolled over 70 lakh small and marginal farmers under the scheme. The UP Government is working on war-footing to upload details of eligible farmers on the central database by Friday. Haryana Government has registered over 10 lakh such farmers.
“PM Modi will address the two-day national conclave of the BJP Kisan Morcha on Sunday and later release the money — Rs 2,000 per land holding — electronically to the bank accounts of farmers, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, with the click of a button,” sources said. As per initial reports, over 1.22 crore farmers have been enrolled under the scheme across the country till date. The Ministry is Agriculture is working to enroll over two crore farmers by the time of launch of the scheme. As per estimate, there are 12 crore small and marginal farmers in the country.
According to sources, non-BJP State Government wants fund from the Centre and distribute it on their own while the Centre on the other hand, want to distribute to the beneficiary by their own to get maximum political mileage in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. Earlier, the Odisha Government was not keen but now they have agreed to join the Centre’s PM-Kisan scheme.
“Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged PM Modi to consider inclusion of landless labourers, sharecroppers and vulnerable households under the PM-KISAN, Assam and Jharkhand have sought explanation from the Centre over implementation of the scheme and West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have asked for more time from the Centre to implement the scheme,” the sources said.
“The State Governments have to ensure that everybody who is a farmer and owns two hectares of land as on cut-off date subject to exclusions should be included. The significance of PM-KISAN is that, for the first time, an attempt has been made to transfer income directly to farmers without using price policy (of either inputs or output). In most of the programmes in the past, including those of previous governments, the policy instrument used has always been price,” said the officials.
In the interim budget, the Modi Government announced direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers with land holding up to 2 hectares under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Since the scheme was launched in retrospective effect from December 1, 2018, the first instalment of Rs 2,000 is due within the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.