Against the initial projection of 14.5 beneficiaries, only 50 percent – 7.26 crore farmers – have benefited from the scheme so far
Only 37 percent funds under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme have been disbursed in the first seven months of the current financial year, The Indian Express has reported.
Of the total allocation of Rs 75,000 crore for FY 20, about Rs 27,937.26 crore has been spent until October-end. With the current financial year ending in the next five months, it is likely that a significant amount of funds under the PM-KISAN Yojana remain unspent.
The PM-KISAN scheme guarantees income support to eligible farmers through direct transfer in their bank accounts. Under the scheme, the Centre aims to provide Rs 6,000 to eligible farmers per year in three equal quarterly instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
Minister of Agriculture and farmer’s Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, said, “So far, out of an allocated amount of Rs 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20, around Rs 27,937.26 crore has been spent up to 31-10-2019, which includes administrative expenses given to the states.”
Although Tomar did not specify the reason for the slow spending, he said PM-KISAN is a “continuous and ongoing scheme” wherein financial benefits were being transferred to beneficiaries as and when their data was being verified and uploaded by the state governments on the PM-KISAN web portal.
“Therefore, the actual utilisation of funds may vary depending upon the variation in the number of beneficiaries. The actual fund position shall be ascertained by reconciliation after the end of the FY 2019-20,” the newspaper has cited Tomar as saying.
The minister also said that the numbers are estimated as per operational land holdings projections of Agri-Census Data 2015-16. However, the data does not incorporate joint land holdings. Therefore, the number of beneficiaries can increase/decrease. “The onus lies with the state/UT governments to identify the beneficiaries and upload their details thereof on PM-KISAN portal,” Tomar reiterated.
The PM Modi-led government had announced the PM-KISAN Yojana on February 1 in the Interim Union Budget 2019-20 ahead of the Lok Sabha Polls. PM Modi had declared that the scheme will be implemented retrospectively from December 1, 2018.
At that time, the government had set aside Rs 20,000 crore for the scheme through revised estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. However, Tomar informed the Lok Sabha in June this year, that of the Rs 20,000 crore, only 6,662 crore was paid to the beneficiaries as the first instalment in the last financial year.The report also cites the minister's latest reply to point out that against the initial projection of 14.5 beneficiaries, only 50 percent – 7.26 crore farmers – have been benefited from the scheme so far.