PM Kisan beneficiaries: FinMin notifies norms to share info about taxpayers

Shishir Sinha | | Updated on: Jul 24, 2020
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In order to ensure exclusion of non-eligible beneficiaries of PM Kisan scheme, the Finance Ministry has notified norms under the Income Tax Act to share information about income tax assessee.

Normally, the Income Tax Department does not share information about individual assessee, however, there is one section of the Income Tax Act, 1961 that enables exceptions. It has allowed the Joint Secretary (Farmers Welfare) in the Department of Agriculture, Coooperation and Farmers Welfare in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to get information regarding income tax assessees for identifying the eligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN Yojana, according to a notification issued by the Finance Ministry.

“In pursuance of sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 138 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the Central Government hereby specifies Joint Secretary (Farmers welfare), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, for the purposes of the said clause in connection with sharing of information regarding income-tax assessees for identifying the eligible beneficiaries under PM-KISAN Yojana,” the notification said.

The PM Kisan scheme, operational from December 1, 2018, provides an income support of ₹6,000 annually in three equal instalments to small and marginal farmer families (covering nearly 86 per cent of total farmers) having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares.

On May 31, the government decided to expand the scheme to all eligible farmer families irrespective of the size of landholdings. It means all 14.5 crore land holding farmers are now eligible to get the benefit. A sum of ₹75,000 crore has been provided under the scheme for FY2020-21.

There are exclusion criteria for the scheme. Accordingly, some categories of beneficiaries of higher economic status have been defined which will not be eligible for benefit under the scheme. These include all Institutional Land holders, former and present holders of constitutional posts, former and present Union & State Ministers/MPs/MLAs/Mayors of Municipal Corporations/Chairpersons of District Panchayats, former & serving Government or PSU employees, all superannuated/retired pensioner with monthly pension ₹10,000 or more, Income Tax payer and professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.

Technically speaking, farm income is exempted from income tax and farmers normally do not file income tax return. Keeping this in mind, an arrangement has been made through information sharing to weed out such land holding farmers from the scheme based on the exclusion criterion.

Published on July 24, 2020

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