In a significant development, the Central government has reported substantial savings of Rs 10,000 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme over the past year. This financial milestone is primarily attributed to the removal of ineligible beneficiaries, according to sources who informed CNBC-TV18.
The PM Kisan scheme, which has been operational since December 1, 2018, aims to provide an annual income support of Rs 6,000 to land-holding farmer families in three equal instalments. This initiative has been a lifeline for millions of farmers across the country.
A ‘Clean Up’ of Beneficiary Database
These impressive savings came to light following a thorough “clean up” of the PM Kisan beneficiary database, resulting in the removal of approximately 1.72 crore individuals who were deemed ineligible for the scheme, as disclosed by sources close to the matter. This exercise was a proactive step towards ensuring that the benefits of the program reach those who genuinely require them.
Expanding the PM KISAN Scheme
With the substantial savings achieved, there is no room for consideration regarding the expansion of the PM-KISAN scheme. Sources suggest that the government is contemplating including landless farmers, such as sharecroppers and tenant farmers, within the ambit of this welfare initiative. However, it’s essential to note that as of now, no official proposal for such an expansion has been drafted.
Key Features of PM KISAN
The PM KISAN scheme, operational since December 1, 2018, aims to provide annual income support of Rs 6,000 to land-holding farmer families in three equal instalments. State governments are responsible for identifying eligible farmer families according to scheme guidelines, and the funds are directly transferred to their bank accounts. Notably, the entire financial liability for the transfer of benefits to targeted beneficiaries is borne by the government. All landholding farmer families with cultivable landholding in their names are eligible to receive benefits under this scheme.
In a move that will bring relief to countless beneficiaries, the government is likely to release the 15th instalment of the PM KISAN scheme between November 2023 and December 2023. However, it’s important to mention that there has been no official announcement from the government regarding this anticipated release. The government had previously released the 14th instalment of the scheme on July 27, 2023, benefitting approximately 85 million farmer-beneficiaries. This latest disbursement brings the total amount transferred to beneficiaries since the inception of the scheme to an impressive Rs 2.59 lakh crore.
The PM KISAN scheme continues to be a cornerstone of the government’s efforts to support the agricultural community and alleviate financial burdens on India’s hardworking farmers. With the recent savings and the potential inclusion of more beneficiaries, it remains a critical tool in driving rural prosperity and agricultural development.