Centre urges Bengal to join flagship PM-Kisan scheme for benefit of 70 lakh farmers

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Published: February 25, 2020 2:45:17 AM

Barring West Bengal, all other states and Union Territories are implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) which has so far benefited 8.45 crore farmers, said agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday.

Tomar also launched the PM-Kisan mobile app on completion of one year of implementation. (Twitter image)Tomar also launched the PM-Kisan mobile app on completion of one year of implementation. (Twitter image)

The Centre has appealed to the West Bengal government to join the flagship direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, PM-Kisan, so that 70 lakh farmers of the state get the income support benefit at the earliest. The government, which rolled out the scheme a year back, aims to cover 14 crore farmers across the country by March 31, 2021. Around 70% beneficiaries have been enrolled so far.

Barring West Bengal, all other states and Union Territories are implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) which has so far benefited 8.45 crore farmers, said agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday. About 10 lakh farmers of West Bengal have already self registered for the scheme after the Centre allowed it through the online portal of PM-Kisan, he said and added that the cash benefit to these farmers will only reach them after the state government verifies and authenticate the data.

“Our officials have approached the state government many times in this regard. I have also written twice to the chief minister urging to join the scheme. But no reply has come yet from the CM,” Tomar said. Some other states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim are slow in authenticating farmers’ data and the central government is pursuing with them, he said.

As many as 8.45 crore farmers have received at least one instalment, out of which 7.6 crore and 6.22 crore have received the second and third instalments, respectively. Under the scheme, each beneficiary is given Rs 6,000 every year in three equal instalments. While the Budget estimate for the scheme for FY20 was Rs 75,000 crore, the revised estimate is at Rs 54,370 crore. Until February 16 this fiscal, Rs 45,000 crore has been disbursed under the scheme.

Tomar also launched the PM-Kisan mobile app on completion of one year of implementation. Using the app, farmers can know the payment status, correct name as per the Aadhaar, know the registration status and scheme eligibility. The app also has helpline numbers and self-registration features.

Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present at an event in the Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh on February 29 to mark the first year of implementation of the PM-Kisan scheme. Just before the general elections, Modi had launched it on February 24, 2019 in Gorakhpur by transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to 1 crore farmers on a single day.

During the February 29 event, Modi will distribute kisan credit cards to beneficiaries, and unveil setting up of 10,000 farmers producers companies (FPOs), a scheme which the Cabinet has recently approved. Under it, the Centre will provide Rs 15-lakh funding to each FPO.

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