pradhanmantri kisan samman nidhi yojna 2020
PM to launch 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations; also to lay foundation stone for Bundelkhand Expressway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid foundation stone for the Bundelkhand Expressway and launched the Har Ghar Jal Scheme to provide piped water to the households in Bundelkhand region.
Prime Minister also launched 10 thousand farmers Producer Organisations FPO all over the country on this occasion and distributed Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to the beneficiaries of the PM-Kisan scheme.
Kisan Credt Card being given to the beneficiaries of PM Kisan scheme will help farmers in availing short term loan using these cards. A massive distribution drive is being held today during which KCCs will be issued to farmers at bank branches spread across the country.
Bundelkhand Expressway and Har Ghar Jal Yojna will be instrumental in solving the 2 major problems of Bundelakhand region that is drinking water and unemployment.
The proposed Bundelkhand expressway will not only connect this backward region to the national capital region but will also support the nodes of Bundelakhnd Defence industrial corridor.
Today launched farmers Producer Organisations FPOs will help small, marginal and landless farmers in order to give them access to technology, quality seed, fertilizers and pesticides including helping them in marketing of their products. The Centre will provide fund of Rs 15 lakh to each FPO.
The Union ministries are busy creating profiles of the beneficiaries of various welfare schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, Ayushman Bharat, PM Kisan Scheme and Standup India in the states including Bihar and West Bengal that will go for polls soon. “The Central government has launched various schemes in the last few months. We are creating the financial profiles of states, in terms of how people have availed benefits of various government schemes, especially the flagship ones. It will help us get the socio-economic profiling of the states,” said an official from the department of financial services under the Ministry of Finance.
While this seems to be a routine exercise, the various ministries have been asked to start with states that will go for assembly elections in the next one year. The survey will start with Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. All these states will go for polls in next one year. According to the official, the internal survey will include the number of bank account holders, beneficiaries of PM Kisan Yojana, Housing for All and Standup India initiatives, among others. Apart from these, it will also create a database of the number of subscribers for the national pension scheme, saving patterns, among others.
“This exercise will help understand the economic development in these regions. While states maintain their own profiles, some states like West Bengal are not very cooperative when it comes to participation in some of the Centre-sponsored schemes. This review of schemes, therefore, becomes significant,” said another senior official. The exercise is a direct fallout of the Delhi election results, where despite intensive campaigns led by Union home minister Amit Shah in the last four weeks before polls, the BJP lost to Aam Admi Party, whose campaign was solely based on social welfare schemes. Now with assembly elections scheduled in Bihar in October and in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal in May, the ruling party is focusing closely on the economic issues, unemployment and financial inclusion.
M Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana has benefited a total of 8.45 crore farming families in the country with an addition of more than 37 lakh families in the current financial year since the launch of the scheme in February 2019, latest government data show. According to the agri-census estimate, a total of 14 crore families need to be included under the ambit of the scheme, Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar said on Monday.
The government has spent a total of Rs 50,850 crore under the scheme so far since its inception in February 2019, out of the allocation of Rs 75000 crore, Tomar said. According to the minister, the PM Kisan scheme is aiming at including another 12 lakh families in the current financial year. Tomar said that the financial aid scheme will play a major role in doubling the farmers’income by 2022.
West Bengal which has not joined the scheme has a major chunk of uncovered families. Apart from West Bengal, the penetration in the state of Bihar is also sub-par. A total of 1.31 crore families need to be covered in Bihar and West Bengal, the government estimate shows. The government data also show that more than 84 per cent of the beneficiaries’ details have been Aadhaar verified.
PM Kisan Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the year 2019 which entails the transfer of Rs 6000 a year to every farming family in three instalments of Rs 2000.
New initiatives for PM-Kisan beneficiaries
On Monday, a new PM-Kisan mobile phone app was launched by the Agriculture Minister. The beneficiaries of PM Kisan scheme will be able to track their application, make corrections in their application with their Aadhaar number and would also be able to see their credit history on the app.
The government has also launched the farmer’s corner on the PM Kisan online portal where farmers can self-register to claim the benefits of the scheme. Aadhaar card correction and beneficiary status can also be tracked on the portal. A 24.7 helpline toll-free number 1800-11-5526 has also been launched on which farmers can call and get to know the status of their application.
Kisan Credit Card (KCC) drive
Tomar also informed that a massive drive will be launched in the country on February 29 to provide Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to the beneficiary farmers. Two thousand bank branches have been tasked to organise a massive campaign across the country on the day to provide the farmers with the KCC. As part of the programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will himself hand over the KCC to some farmer families at UP’s Chitrakoot on February 29.
Kisan Samman Nidhi target lowered to 12 crore
One year after the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Centre has revised the farmer income support scheme’s beneficiary target down to just under 12 crore from 14 crore.
In fact, empirical evidence suggests that saturation level will reach around 10 crore families. So far, almost 8.5 crore farmers have benefited.
Speaking at an event to mark the first anniversary, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar pointed to West Bengal and Bihar as the major culprits for the lag. While the West Bengal government has refused to join the scheme at all, the Bihar government’s approach of waiting for applicants means more than 60% of potential beneficiaries are yet to register.
The scheme, which gives land-owning farmer families an annual sum of ₹6,000, was launched in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election, and new registrations have slowed after the election.
The Centre’s beneficiary estimate of 14 crore was initially based on the number of landholdings recorded in the agricultural land census.
The revised estimate of 11.97 crore is based on the 9.84 crore who have registered themselves on the portal so far (although only 8.45 crore have received money so far), plus an estimated 2.13 crore beneficiaries left out, mostly from West Bengal and Bihar. However, “empirical evidence suggests that saturation level will reach around 10 crore farmer families,” according to a presentation made at the event.
Mr. Tomar pointed out that of West Bengal’s 70 lakh farmers, 10 lakh have already self-registered through an online process. However, they cannot receive the cash benefit until the database is verified by the State government, he said.
“Central government officials have approached the State government about this many times and I have also written to the Chief Minister twice, urging the State to join the scheme. But we have not received any reply as yet,” Mr. Tomar said, pointing out the State’s economy would stand to benefit with a potential annual payout of ₹4,000 crore if all the State’s farmers registered themselves for the scheme.
In Bihar, the potential beneficiaries number 158 lakh. However, only 59.7 lakh farmers have uploaded their data on the PM-KISAN portal so far. “The State has adopted a beneficiary application-based approach, which is delaying identification and upload,” said the presentation.
35 lakh farmers in TS benefitted from PM Kisan Samman Nidhi
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, a Centrally sponsored scheme on the lines of Rytu Bandhu but with several filters to identify beneficiaries, has completed one year and enrolled 34.81 lakh farmers which is about half their total strength in Telangana.
The scheme was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on February 24.
Observers feel the assistance of ₹ 6,000 per annum provided under the scheme as an income support to all landholding farmers’ families had not had much impact on agriculture because of the small size of amounts transferred to their bank accounts. A sum of ₹ 2,000 was transferred to accounts in three instalments but the periodicity of release was not maintained. The releases were made irrespective of the seasons and at odd intervals to suit nationwide interests.
The Samman Nidhi is applicable solely to BPL families as against comprehensive coverage of farmers based on their land holdings in Rytu Bandhu. The acreage was not a parameter but family, irrespective of its holding, was considered in Samman Nidhi.
Sources expressed the hope that the scheme would be beneficial to farmers if it was streamlined systematically. It could supplement the income of farmers under Rytu Bandhu wherein they get ₹ 5,000 per acre per season. Farmers accessing Rythu Bandhu were also eligible for Samman Nidhi provided they fulfilled the criteria.
The scheme excluded Income-Tax payees, government employees above Class IV, retired employees other than subordinate services, public servants, professionals and land holders above below poverty line. The Centre had so far released over ₹ 50,850 crore to about 8.46 crore farmers out of the targeted 14 crore in the country. The scheme was initially meant for farmers holding land up to two hectares but it was extended to cover all farmer families irrespective of the size of their holdings from June 1 last year.