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Ahead of State elections, government to transfer ₹22,000 crore to farmers under PM-Kisan scheme

| Updated on: Nov 26, 2021
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A ‘function’ is likely to be organised to underscore the importance of the event, appease farmers, say sources

The government is likely to transfer ₹22,000 crore to bank accounts of about 11 crore farmers under the flagship PM-Kisan scheme, at a function in Uttar Pradesh, where Assembly election is scheduled early next year along with four other States.

The plan is to make it a big event after the repeal of three controversial farm laws so that a positive message is sent to the farming community.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will decide the timing – likely on December 25 or January 1. A physical event may be held this time, unlike previous one when it was virtually organised,” an official source said. The Centre has so far released over ₹1.61-lakh crore to farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme since it was launched in February 2019.

On August 9, Modi facilitated the transfer about ₹19,500 crore to over 9.75 crore beneficiaries for the August-November cycle in one-go.

Also see: Group of Food Secretaries to frame community kitchen scheme

An estimated 14 crore eligible land-owning farmers are entitled to receive ₹6,000 each, every year in three equal installments under the scheme. While the estimate of farmers’ number was based on the agri census of 2015-16, the Centre is working on a project to identify the exact number by linking the digitised land records with PM-Kisan data.

‘Correction pending’

While 12.6 crore farmers’ data have been received under PM-Kisan, out of these 1 crore are pending for correction/validation, sources said. Uttar Pradesh has highest 2.8 crore of farmers as per validated data so far, exceeding the census estimate of 2.26 crore farmers in the State. Similarly, Punjab has 23.76 lakh validated data of farmers against census estimate of 10.43 lakh farmers.

Apart from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, assembly polls are also slated in Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa.

The government has allocated ₹65,000 crore to PM-Kisan scheme for FY22 and farmers have received ₹44,212 crore, so far in current fiscal.

“This direct benefit transfer helps the government to mellow down the impact of current farmers’ agitation. After the withdrawal of farm laws and completion of repeal process, it will be difficult for the leaders to continue the momentum even if they persist with their demand for legal guarantee of minimum support price (MSP),” said AK Singh, an agriculture scientist who worked in Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The extension of free foodgrains scheme until March 31 may also help the government to hold onto the goodwill in rural areas.

On November 24, the Cabinet extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana by another four months, entailing an expenditure of Rs ₹53,344 crore. So, the benefits will be available for 11 months in current fiscal as against eight months (April-November) in 2020-21.

‘Year of struggle’

“It has been a year of unmatched struggle mixed with happiness and sadness. We are fighting and winning. We will fight and win. MSP law is farmers’ right,” Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait tweeted.

Also see: Why farmers in the arid zone are not bothered about MSP

Friday marked one year of the ongoing farmers’ protest against the central laws, though Modi had announced the withdrawal on November 19 appealing farmers to end the protest and return to their homes. Thousands of farmers have been encamped at Delhi’s Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu borders since November 26, 2020.

Published on November 26, 2021

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