Modi releases Rs. 20,000 crore to farmers' accounts under PM-KISAN
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the eighth installment of financial benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme via video conferencing on Friday. PM Modi digitally transferred over Rs. 20,000 crore directly to the bank accounts of more than 9.5 crore farmers. This is the highest amount paid by the government under the scheme in a single installment. Here are more details.
The Union Agriculture Ministry said in a statement that the PM released more than Rs. 20,000 crore to over 9.5 crore farmer families under the scheme. A state-wise list revealed by the Ministry showed that farmer families in Uttar Pradesh (India's most populous state) received Rs. 5,150 crore, followed by Maharashtra (Rs. 1,892 crore), Madhya Pradesh (Rs. 1,675 crore), and Bihar (Rs. 1,579 crore).
Under the PM-KISAN scheme—launched on February 24, 2019—an annual benefit of Rs. 6,000 is provided to eligible beneficiary farmer families, payable in three equal four-monthly installments (April-July, August-November, December-March) of Rs. 2,000 each. The beneficiaries include all but affluent farmers, i.e., farmers having combined land holding/ownership of up to two hectares. Rs. 1.15 lakh crore has reached farmer families so far under the scheme.
After releasing the funds, Modi interacted with the farmer-beneficiaries from six states (UP, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jammu and Kashmir, and Maharashtra) in the presence of Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Over seven lakh farmers in West Bengal received assistance for the first time. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee confirmed that the state had approved automatic debit for eligible farmers.
The government encourages farmers to practice alternative forms of farming such as organic farming, as these crops require less investment, are good for health and the soil, and sell for a higher amount, the PM said. "Even during these testing times of COVID-19, our farmers have shown their grit of serving the nation. They have done record procurement by innovating farming techniques," he said.
The PM appreciated Arvind from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh for providing organic farmer training to young farmers in his region. He lauded organic farming undertaken on a large scale by Patrick from Car Nicobar in Andaman and Nicobar islands. The PM also interacted with Khurshid Ahmed from Srinagar, who markets and sells organic produce in the local markets of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to Ravi in Meghalaya, who has set up a business model for organic farming, PM Modi said as many as 10,000 Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) are being set up in the country. The PM also appreciated the efforts of N Vennurama from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, who helped improve the viability of barren land and guides over 170 adivasi farmers in her region.
The PM said the government constantly tries for marginal farmers to easily avail cheap loans. A campaign to provide Kisan Credit Card has been ongoing for the past one-and-a-half years. During this time, more than two crore Kisan Credit Cards have been issued, he said.
The PM noted that while farmers have produced records in agriculture and horticulture, the government is also setting new procurement records at MSP. More than 10% wheat has been purchased at MSP as compared to last year, he said. "All farmers, especially from Punjab, are satisfied with the scheme. I have seen many videos of farmers expressing their satisfaction on social media," he said.
According to the PM, over 80 crore people are being given free ration in May and June under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). "I urge people to ensure no hindrance comes while giving free ration to the needy people," he added.
Separately, while tweeting greetings for the festivals of Akshaya Tritya and Eid-ul-Fitr, the PM said he hoped the country would "overcome the global pandemic." "About 18 crore vaccine doses have been given so far, both Centre and states are making efforts to vaccinate all citizens," he said during the video conference. He asked states to take action against those involved in black-marketing of essentials.