The Centre on Saturday said it has disbursed Rs 50,850 crore to farmers so far under its landmark scheme PM-KISAN, enabling them to meet farm input cost and household expenses. The agriculture ministry shared the progress made under the scheme, ahead of its first anniversary on February 24.
The PM-KISAN was formally launched on February 24 last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi 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.
"February 24, 2020 is the 1st anniversary of starting of a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)," an official statement said.
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, it added.
"The Central Government has already released more than Rs 50,850 crores till now," the ministry said.
Total number of beneficiaries covered under the scheme is about 14 crore, based on estimates of the Agriculture Census 2015-16.
As on February 20 this year, 8.46 crores farmer families have been given the benefits.
The scheme is effective from December 2018. The cut-off date for identification of beneficiaries with regard to their eligibility was February 1, 2019. The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiaries rests with the state /UT governments.
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.
Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as income tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs 10,000 per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees).
All installments falling due on or after December 1, 2019 are being paid only on the basis of Aadhaar authenticated bank data of beneficiaries to ensure genuine beneficiaries and avoid duplicity in payments, except in Assam and Meghalaya besides the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, which are exempted from this requirement till March this year.