PM-Kisan: Centre tells states to speed up Aadhaar verification

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Published: September 21, 2019 7:02:54 AM

After the finance ministry took up the issue of slow disbursal of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) benefit with the agriculture ministry earlier this week, there has been a considerable improvement in the pay-out

 PM Kisan, Aadhaar verification, Aadhaar card, farmer scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi The direct benefit transfer scheme was announced by then finance minister Piyush Goyal during his Interim Budget speech in February.

The Centre has asked states to speed up the Aadhaar verification process in the next two weeks before Dussehra holidays begin, so that the maximum number of people get the benefit of PM-Kisan’s third installment of Rs 2,000 each. Amid a lot of short-term measures announced by the finance minister recently, a faster clearance by states will help the Centre to pump in at least Rs 6,000 crore immediately, which is yet to be transferred to PM-Kisan beneficiaries’ bank accounts, to boost rural demand.

After the finance ministry took up the issue of slow disbursal of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) benefit with the agriculture ministry earlier this week, there has been a considerable improvement in the pay-out. Until September 19, over Rs 2,829 crore has been disbursed to more than 1.41 crore farmers as third installment against a target of about Rs 9,000 crore covering 4.5 crore farmers. Less than 95 lakh beneficiaries had received the incentive until September 16.

“All have to work harder to ensure maximum number of farmers get the third tranche (August-November) at the earliest before Dussehra,” said Vivek Agarwal, joint secretary in the agriculture ministry in charge of PM-Kisan. He was speaking at a day-long conference of state agriculture ministers and officials on the preparedness for rabi crops on Friday. Dussehra will be celebrated on October 8.

So far, Rs 23,576 crore has been disbursed to 6.54 crore, 3.83 crore and 1.41 crore farmers (not mutually exclusive sets) as first, second and third installments, respectively, since the inception of the scheme in February this year. Verification of Aadhaar data has been made compulsory from third installment, while only the number was to be mentioned in the second tranche pay-out.

The direct benefit transfer scheme was announced by 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.

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