Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday the government has paid Rs 18,253 crore under the PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) scheme during the ongoing lockdown to overcome the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the PM-KISAN scheme on February 24 2019 at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Under the scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal instalments, directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.
The scheme was launched to provide income support to all landholding farmers' families across the country and enable them to meet expenses related to agriculture as well as domestic needs.
Since March 2020, 9.13 crore farmers have been paid Rs 18,253 crore under PM-KISAN during the #lockdown. About three crore farmers with agri loans totaling Rs 4,22,113 crore availed the benefit of the 3-month loan moratorium. @RBI@FinMinIndia@DFS_India@PIB_India— NSitharamanOffice (@nsitharamanoffc) May 9, 2020
The scheme initially provided income support to all small and marginal farmers' families across the country, holding cultivable land up to 2 hectares. However, its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.
The FM also said that about three crore farmers with agricultural loans totaling Rs 4,22,113 crore availed the benefit of the 3-month loan moratorium announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in March. On March 27, RBI asked all banks and other lending institutions to allow a three-month moratorium on all kinds of loans. The RBI also said that moratorium on term loans and deferment of interest payment would not result in asset classification downgrade.