The farmers' data received from August 1 (about 1.35 crore, so far) will be considered for their first installment during August-November period.
The Cabinet on Wednesday allowed transfer of PM-Kisan benefit to the farmers without Aadhaar seeding of their bank accounts until November 30, which will help pump in about Rs 8,000 crore immediately into rural India. Farmers have received about Rs 9,000 crore since August 1 when Aadhaar seeding was made mandatory.
So far, Rs 27,306 crore has been transferred into bank accounts of 6.77 crore, 5.14 crore and 1.74 crore farmers (not mutually exclusive sets) as first, second and third installments, respectively, since the inception of the scheme.
“The transfer of PM-Kisan benefit was slow because of compulsory Aadhaar verification. After the decision to relax the norm, the transfer process will be faster and before Diwali (October 27) all eligible farmers may receive the benefit in their bank accounts,” a government official said. The Centre had received data of 7.15 crore farmers (including 4.74 crore uploaded until March 31) from the state governments until July 31. These farmers are eligible to receive either second or third installment during August-November period.
The farmers’ data received from August 1 (about 1.35 crore, so far) will be considered for their first installment during August-November period.
Earlier, Aadhaar seeding was mandated to avail installment after August 1. It was exempted until March 2020 only for farmers of Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir, where Aadhaar penetration is poor.
“The mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding was taking time and therefore we have relaxed the norm till November 30,” information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters after the Cabinet meeting. This will help farmers to buy farm inputs like fertilisers, seeds as rabi sowing season has started from this month, Javadekar said.
The Centre, last month, allowed farmers self registration through the online portal under PM-Kisan scheme and plans to get the registration done through a national helpline number to cover maximum people at the earliest. These registrations, of course, will need to be validated by states.
The direct benefit transfer scheme was announced by the then finance minister Piyush Goyal during his Interim Budget speech in February. Initially, the target was to cover 12 crore small and marginal farmers (owning up to 2 hectares of land), with each getting Rs 6,000 in a year in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each. But after returning to power in May, the NDA government approved inclusion of an additional two crore farmers under the scheme. Estimated to cost Rs 75,000 crore annually, it took retrospective effect from December 1, 2018.