Over fifty million farmers were yet to get the third instalment of money under the Centre's ambitious PM-Kisan scheme, aimed at providing direct support of Rs 6,000 annually to them, according to the latest Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare data. The total amount of the scheme, which came into effect on December 1, 2018, is to be paid in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 every four months. The data showed about 25.1 million farmers have not got even the second instalment and 51.6 million of them were yet to get the third instalment.
Over 90 million farmers have registered themselves under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019, it said. Of these, 76.2 million or 84 per cent of farmers have received the first instalment. The money through the second instalment was given to nearly 65 million farmers and the amount under the third instalment was given to 38.5 million beneficiaries, according to the data received in response to an RTI query filed by this PTI journalist.
The agriculture ministry, in its response, gave three sets of data mentioning the benefits given to farmers under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019. It said 47.4 million farmers were registered between December 2018 and March 2019. Of them, 42.2 million received the first instalment, 40.2 million the second and 3.85 crore the third. There was no mention why nearly 5 million, 7 million and 9 million registered farmers during this period did not get the first, second and third instalment respectively.
There was no registered beneficiary in West Bengal and Sikkim, hence no amount was disbursed during this period, according to the data. Giving details of the 30.8 million farmers registered between April and July last year, it said 26.6 million and 24.7 million beneficiaries have got their first and second instalments respectively.
The RTI reply did no mention why around 4 million and 6.1 million registered farmers during this period did not get their first and second instalment respectively. "The beneficiaries are eligible for the instalment for the period in which he/she gets registered and subsequent periods, thereafter. Therefore, the third instalment is not due for the beneficiaries registered in the period April 2019-July 2019," the ministry said.
There was no registered beneficiary during this period in West Bengal, Punjab and Chandigarh and therefore nobody was paid first and second instalments. The ministry said around 11.9 million beneficiaries were registered between August and November 30, 2019, of these nearly 7.36 million farmers have been given the first instalment. There was no mention of payment of first instalment to over 45 lakh eligible beneficiaries during the period.
"The beneficiaries are eligible for the instalment for the period in which he/she gets registered and subsequent periods, thereafter. Therefore, the second and third instalments are not due for the beneficiaries registered in the period August 2019 to November 2019," it said. The ministry was asked to provide the total number of farmers, state-wise, and the amount received by them under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM-Kisan scheme.
"PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme has been implemented from December 1, 2018. It is stated that PM-Kisan is a continuous and ongoing scheme, in which the financial benefits are transferred to the bank accounts of the identified beneficiaries as and when their correct and verified data is uploaded by the concerned states/union territories on PM-Kisan web portal," the ministry said in the RTI response vide its letter dated December 26, 2019.
The data of beneficiaries so uploaded by them undergoes a multi-level verification, including by banks, and only then the amount is released to the beneficiary, it said, adding that www.pmkisan.gov.in website can be accessed to get more details on the operational guidelines of the scheme. According to the data updated on the website on February 3, around 8.82 crore farmers have been registered and 8.41 crore have received the first installment, 75.6 million the second instalment, 6.19 crore the third and 3.03 crore have received the fourth installment. In Assam, out of 1.69 million farmers registered during this period, 1.4 million got the first instalment, 1.3 million received the second and 987,000 the third.
Of the 4.2 million registered beneficiaries in Maharashtra, 3.6 million got the first instalment, 3.1 milion the second and 2.million got the third instalment. As many as 2.38 million farmers in Kerala received their first instalment, 1.87 million got the second and 1.84 million the third. A total of 2. 61 million beneficiaries were registered in the state between December 2018 and March 2019.
There was no beneficiary registered during the period from West Bengal, which has refused to implement the scheme, according to the ministry's response. In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 957,000 out of 1. 96 million farmers have got the first instalment. In Gujarat, nearly 122,000 out of 198,000 registered farmers got the first instalment.
Around 978,000 lakh farmers out of the 1.71 million registered beneficiaries have received the first instalment in Madhya Pradesh. In Odisha, only 5,507 farmers out of 5.6 million registered farmers have got the first instalment, the ministry said. None of the 7,326 farmers registered in Sikkim was paid the first instalment, according to the ministry's reply. In Delhi, 1,447 farmers out of 1,734 have got the first instalment.