Seeding of Aadhaar with bank accounts will not be compulsory for small and marginal farmers to avail the second instalment of Rs 2,000 due on April 1 under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KiSAN) scheme, the government said Thursday.
However, Aadhaar number would be required for release of second installment, it added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 launched the PM-Kisan scheme, transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to 1.01 crore farmers, totalling Rs 2,021 crore.
"Non-seeding of beneficiaries' details with Aadhaar number will delay the release of 2nd installment as it is due on 1st April, 2019 and will cause discontent among the farmers. Therefore, this condition has been relaxed," an official statement said.
"The condition will remain applicable for release of third installment onwards," it added.
The Cabinet, while approving the scheme on February 1, made Aadhaar seeding of the beneficiaries' data compulsory for release of 2nd installment onwards.
"However, it would be difficult to get 100 per cent Aadhaar seeding for release of funds for 2nd installment, as efficient seeding of beneficiaries' details with Aadhaar requires bio-metric authentication. Demographic seeding will result in large scale rejection as the spellings of names have to be exactly the same," the statement said.
Under the Rs 75,000 crore PM-KISAN scheme, Rs 6,000 per year will be given to 12 crore small and marginal farmer families in three instalments. The PM-KISAN is completely funded by the central government.
For the purpose of the calculation of the benefit, the Centre has defined a small and marginal landholder family as the one comprising of husband, wife and minor children up to 18 years of age, who collectively own cultivable land up to two hectare as per the land records of the concerned states.