Govt will cover 10 crore farmers under PM-Kisan by year-end: Agriculture Minister

The government aims to cover this year as many as 10 crore farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme, wherein they will be given Rs 6,000 annually in three equal instalments, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

Around 5.88 crore small farmers have so far received the first tranche of Rs 2,000 each under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) and 3.40 crore peasants have got the second instalment as well, he said. “Barring West Bengal, all states are participating in the scheme. The progress so far is very good. We are targeting to reach out 10 crore farmers by end of the year,” Tomar told reporters.

The scheme will cover all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding, he said.

The scheme was launched on February 24 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.

Initially, the scheme was designed to cover an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.

Later the scheme was revised to cover around additional 2 crore farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-Kisan to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 87,217.50 crores by the Central Government in fiscal year 2019-20.

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.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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