Andhra Pradesh has taken the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi portal a notch above by merging it with its own Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme. The state government now promises Rs 10,000 per annum to all farmers in the state, irrespective of the size of their land holding. The decision was taken by the state Cabinet in its meeting on Wednesday based on the suggestion from state Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy.
The Annadatha Sukhibhava, an investment support scheme, promises direct benefit transfer of Rs 10,000 to all farmers in Andhra Pradesh. The benefits will be sent in two tranches of Rs 5,000 before the Kharif and Rabi crop cycle begins. The scheme is expected to benefit around 70 lakh farmers in the state.
Apart from the marginalised farmers covered under the PM-Kisan scheme, the Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme will also cover the tenant farmers. These farmers will be given 'Cultivation Certificates' and 'Loan Eligibility Certificates' which will help them avail the benefits of this scheme.
"All those farmers who are eligible for Rs 6,000 per household under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will receive Rs 4,000 from the Andhra Pradesh Government. We are merging both-the Centre will give Rs 6,000 and AP Government will give Rs 4,000 more. About 54 lakh farmers will benefit from this," a report by Indian Express quoted Reddy as saying.
For beneficiaries of the PM-Kisan scheme, the Centre will release the first tranche of Rs 2,000 in February and Andhra Pradesh state government will add Rs 3,000 to it. These funds are supposed to help small and marginalised farmers with the preparations for Kharif crops. Although the Kharif season begins around July in Andhra Pradesh, the state government will disburse benefits under Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme much in advance so that the Rs 2,000 under the PM-Kisan scheme do not go to waste.
"Rs 2,000 is of no use to a farmer. By adding Rs 3,000 from our side we are making a decent sum that the farmer can use to prepare his field. Ahead of the Rabi season we will pay the remaining amount along with the other two instalments under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi,'' Reddy told the daily.
The entire scheme will cost the Andhra Pradesh government Rs 5,000 crore every year, provision for which has been made in the Budget, Reddy added.