The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved that the ambit of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) would be comprehensively extended. With this decision, all land holding eligible farmer families (subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria) would avail of the benefits under this scheme.
The revised Scheme is expected to cover around 2 crore more farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-KISAN to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, with an estimated expenditure by Central Government of Rs. 87,217.50 crores for year 2019-20.
Friday’s Cabinet decision pertaining to expanding the ambit PM-KISAN marks the fulfilment of a major promise made by the Prime Minister to the people of India in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections. The BJP manifesto too mentioned this major policy decision.
It may also be noted that certain operational issues like lack of updated land records in Jharkhand and lack of Aadhaar penetration in states of Assam, Meghalaya and J&K have also been resolved.
The genesis of the PM-KISAN Yojana dates back to the interim Budget for the year 2019-2020.
The key element of PM-KISAN is income support of Rs. 6000/- to the small and marginal landholder farmer families with cultivable land holding upto 2 hectare across the country.
The amount is being released in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- each over the year, to be credited into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries held in destination banks through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
The scheme was launched in a record time of 3 weeks, on 24th February at a huge programme in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments was paid to several farmers.
So far, 1st instalment to 3.11 crore beneficiaries and 2nd instalment to 2.66 crore beneficiaries have been credited directly to the bank accounts of the farmer families.
Between 2014 to 2019, numerous measures were taken to empower the hardworking farmer. This includes increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for 22 crops, Soil Health Cards, PM Krishi Sinchai Yojana, PM Kisan Sampada Yojana, e-NAM for better markets and more. These steps have made agriculture more prosperous and ensured greater productivity for farmers. They will go a long way in fulfilling the Prime Minister’s dream of doubling farmer incomes by 2022 when India marks 75 years of freedom.