July 07, 2020
(Times of India)
The Centre’s flagship PM-Kisan assured income support scheme for farmers reached over 9.5 crore beneficiaries during the lockdown period, disbursing over Rs 19,457 crore till May 28, but 69.69 lakh potential beneficiaries from West Bengal could not get the financial support during this tough pandemic phase as the state government has not yet verified their details.
West Bengal has not joined the scheme since its launch despite repeated reminders from the Centre.
Data shared by the ministry of agriculture in response to an RTI, filed by activist Venkatesh Nayak in May to know the status of the implementation of the PM-Kisan scheme during the lockdown, show the fifth instalment (April - June) of the scheme alone covered over 3.58 crore beneficiaries with an amount of over Rs 7,161 crore.
Under PM-Kisan, all landholder farmer families, subject to certain exclusions, can get Rs 6,000 per annum in three equal instalments every four months in a financial year. The Centre made the scheme, launched in February last year, operational with effect from December 1, 2018, treating December 2018 - March 2019 as its first instalment period.
Though the scheme was initially meant for only small and marginal farmers who have cultivable land up to 2 hectares (nearly five acres), it was later extended to all farmers, irrespective of size of their landholdings, during beginning of Modi 2.0. Accordingly, there are now around 14.5 crore potential beneficiaries under the scheme in the country.
The RTI provides details of the number of beneficiaries and the amount of money released over five instalments taking into account the period of lockdown up to May 28. However, since new beneficiaries are registering every day and clearing payment backlogs for previous instalments is also a continuous process, the number of beneficiaries and the amount of money released changes constantly and therefore the total number of beneficiaries is pitched at over 9.5 crores. Read More