Fulfilling its poll promises in the very first Cabinet meeting, the NDA Government on Friday decided to extend PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country costing Rs 87,000 crore a year and also announced over Rs 10,000 crore pension scheme for 5 crore farmers.
Implementing another poll promise, the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to all shopkeepers, retail traders and self employed persons after attaining the age of 60 years.
Announcing the key decisions, new Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Modi 2.0 Government has announced the landmark decisions for the farming community in the first Cabinet meeting. “The Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the scheme by including all land holding eligible farmer families under the scheme, subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria,” Tomar told reporters after the meeting.
The Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) was announced in the interim Budget under which the Government decided to provide Rs 6,000 per year (in three equal instalments) to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
“Now, the revised scheme envisages to cover around 2 crore more farmers increasing the coverage of the PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries,” the Minister said. He said total burden on the exchequer will increase by Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 87,217.50 crore for the year 2019-20.
Tomar said the Cabinet also approved the PM-Kisan Pension Yojana under which small and marginal farmers will get a minimum fixed pension of Rs 3,000 per month on attaining the age of 60 years.
“In the initial phase, the Government will cover minimum 5 crore small and marginal farmers in the first three years,” he said, adding that this would cost Rs 10,774.5 crore per annum to the exchequer.
This scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for a small and marginal farmers across the country, with the entry age of 18-40 years, he said.
Detailing the pension scheme to traders, Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said more than three crore traders across the country will benefit from this unique scheme. Five crore traders are expected to join the scheme in the next three years, Javadekar added.
“All shopkeepers and self employed persons as well as retail traders with GST turnover below Rs 1.5 crore and aged between 18-40 years can enrol for the scheme,” an official statement said. Interested persons can enrol themselves through over 3.25 lakh common service centres spread across the country. The Government will make matching contribution in the subscribers’ account, the statement added.