Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central government on Saturday notified a decision to extend the benefit of Rs 6,000 per year under the PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi will cost over Rs 87,000 crore a year to the exchequer.
The NDA government had taken this landmark decision in their first Cabinet meeting on May 31, a day after Narendra Modi took oath of the office. The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had promised to extend the scheme to all farmers.
Notifying the decision, the Union Agriculture Ministry reportedly said that all land holding eligible farmer families would avail of the benefits under this scheme. The minister has written to all state governments in this regard and asked them to identify beneficiaries subject to the "existing exclusion factors".
"All the state/UT governments are, therefore, requested to expedite 100 per cent enlistment of eligible beneficiaries as per the revised scheme so that farmers are able to avail the benefit of the scheme," news agency PTI quoted the Ministry as saying.
The genesis of the PM-KISAN Yojana dates back to the interim Budget for the year 2019-2020, in which the Central government announced to provide Rs 6,000 per year, in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs 2000 each over the year, to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
The scheme was launched on 24th February this year in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments was paid to several farmers. The government so far distributed first instalment to 3.11 crore beneficiaries and second instalment to 2.66 crore beneficiaries into their bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
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.
The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has also approved a monthly pension of over Rs 10,000 to secure lives of 5 crore small and marginal farmers in three years. This scheme, in addition to PM-KISAN monetary support, will provide pension cover to industrious farmers to ease their economic burden and will lead to greater efficiency.
"The Central Government would spend Rs 10,774.50 crore for a period of 3 years towards its contribution (matching share) for providing social security cover as envisaged under the scheme," according to a Cabinet statement.
(With PTI inputs)
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar