Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a BJP rally in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. (Source: PTI) 

Modi’s First Income Transfer To One-Crore Farmers On Feb. 24

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally launch the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana scheme at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh on Feb. 24 with the transfer of the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to about one crore beneficiaries, a senior agriculture ministry official said.

The PM-KISAN was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20, under which Rs 6,000 will be given in three installments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to two hectares.

Also read: Budget 2019: Government To Provide Rs 6,000 Each To 12 Crore Farmer Families

"The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally launch the scheme at a farmers' rally at Gorakhpur on Feb. 24. We expect the PM will push the button for one-crore plus beneficiaries," the official told PTI.

The data uploaded on the PM-KISAN portal till Feb. 24, will be considered for transfer of the first installment at the launch event, the official said, and added that the second installment will be given from Apr.1.

Asked if farmers will get the first installment if their names could not get into the initial list of eligible beneficiaries, the official said, "the basic principle is that farmers will not be deprived of the benefit because of inefficiency or bottlenecks of the system."

With regard to farmers in the north east as well as tribal farmers, the official said a solution has been worked out. "In the north-eastern region, a community head will give an undertaking how much land each farmer owns. Based on that we will transfer the amount to their banks," the official said.

The government has also clarified that tribal farmers having right over agricultural land in forest areas will also get the benefit under the scheme, he added.

On collating beneficiaries’ data, the official said, “field verification is going on. Different states are moving at a different pace. There are governance and political issues in some states for collating the data."

However, many states are in a position to start uploading the data on the PM-KISAN portal that will commence from Thursday, he added.

For instance, the Uttar Pradesh government has good digital data of farmers' land records. After exclusion, about two crore small and marginal farmers families will benefit from the scheme in the state, the official said.

About a dozen states are 95 percent ready with the data, while nine states have finished 80 percent work, while the rest are lagging a bit, he added.

Asserting that the new scheme will improve the revenue data base in the country, the official said, "farmers will be forced to update their land records to avail the benefit under the scheme. If a person dies or sells the land, all this have to be updated.”

The immediate change that is visible on the ground after the announcement of the scheme, the official said, "our revenue machinery is running after the farmers to get the data of exclusion certificate and Aadhaar number."

Small and marginal farmers are feeling empowered. "We are getting the feedback that people in Bihar and U.P. are getting empowered because of this process of selection," he said.

In the long run, the official said that the scheme may help address farm migration and improve crop intensity.

"Currently, about 50 percent of farmers take two-three crops a year and the rest take one crop. At some level, the cropping intensity may increase. There will be some impact on migration as they will employed in their own fields," he added.