Agriculture Minister Asks West Bengal Government To Join PM-Kisan Scheme
A farmer transports a tractor trailer laden with onions in Lasalgaon, India. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Agriculture Minister Asks West Bengal Government To Join PM-Kisan Scheme

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Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday asked the West Bengal government to join the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, which has completed one year of operation without the state on board.

Barring West Bengal, all other states and union territories are implementing the PM-Kisan scheme, which has benefited 8.45 crore farmers against the targeted 14 crore across India.

“West Bengal has not yet joined the scheme. There are 70 lakh farmers in the state. Benefits worth about Rs 4,000 crore will reach to these farmers if implemented.” Tomar said while launching the PM-Kisan mobile app in New Delhi. Of the 70 lakh farmers, about 10 lakh have already self-registered for the scheme online, he said, adding that the cash benefit to these farmers will reach them once the state government verifies the data.

Stating that the cash benefit under the scheme will not only help farmers but also boost the state's economy, Tomar said: “Our officials have approached the state government in this regard many times. I have also written twice to the chief minister...but no reply has come yet.”

Some states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim are slow in authenticating farmers' data and the central government is pursuing with them seriously, the agriculture minister said.

On the PM-Kisan online portal, the centre has received data of 9.74 crore farmers. Payment has been made to 8.45 crore farmers, Tomar said. The target is to reach 14 crore farmers by next year. About 85 percent of farmers data registered under the PM-Kisan scheme has been Aadhaar verified, the rest will be completed soon, he added.

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