Over 9 crore farmers have registered themselves under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019, as per the government. Of these, 7.62 crore or 84 per cent of farmers have received the first installment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today electronically transferred ₹ 17,100 crores to the bank accounts of over 8.5 crore farmers as part of the PM-KISAN scheme, aimed at providing direct support of ₹ 6,000 annually to them.
The amount was part of the sixth installment of the scheme launched in 2018. The government claims to have provided a direct cash benefit of over Rs 90,000 crore to more than 10 crore farmers as part of the scheme.
“Rs 17,000 crores of PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi have been deposited into bank accounts of 8.5 crore farmers with a single click. No middlemen or commission, it went straight to farmers. I am satisfied because the objective of the scheme is being fulfilled,” PM Modi said during the launch of a financing facility for farmers.
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with a capital of Rs 1 lakh crore was launched by the Prime Minister through a video conference which was attended by lakhs of farmers, cooperatives, and citizens across the country. The Fund aims to catalyse the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres and processing units. These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce, as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition, the government said.
The first sanction of over Rs 1,000 crore was made to over 2,280 farmers under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund today, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, each farmer receives up to ₹ 6,000 per year as minimum income support and the scheme is totally funded by the central government.
The funds are being directly transferred into the Aadhaar authenticated beneficiaries’ bank account to prevent leakage and increase convenience for farmers.
The scheme has also been instrumental in supporting farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic, through the release of nearly ₹ 22,000 Crore to aid the farmers during the lockdown period, the government said.
The money through the second installment was given to nearly 6.5 crore farmers and the amount under the third installment was given to 3.85 crore beneficiaries, according to the data received in response to an RTI query.
The data of beneficiaries so uploaded by them undergoes a multi-level verification, including by banks, and only then the amount is released to the beneficiary, it said, adding that www.pmkisan.gov.in website can be accessed to get more details on the operational guidelines of the scheme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a significant statement, said on Sunday that “legal hurdles” pertaining to essential commodities related to the agriculture business, that plagued farmers, investors and consumers alike, are being removed.
Giving specific examples of removing hurdles, he said, “On the one hand the legal hurdles are being removed and on the other hand farmers are being provided direct help. Like a law related to essentials was made decades ago, this law was made when there was a severe shortage of food grains in the country. But today there are enough stocks of food grains, so this type of prohibition also causes loss to the economy and consumer. Surprisingly, this law continues even today. Today, when we have become the second major food producer in the world, then there is no need for this law.”
Modi candidly admitted, “The use of this law led to more abuse. This has done more to intimidate the traders of the country, the investors. Now trade related to agriculture has also been freed from this fear mechanism. Calling it ‘Atma Nirbhar Krishi’, the Centre connected it to its much ambitious and much talked about concept of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
Thousands of FPOs, 350 agri start ups and a massive boost to small farmers – those were Modi’s thrust on Sunday morning as he launched a financing facility under Agricultural Infrastructure Fund through video conferencing.
Saying that it will not just increase the earnings in agriculture but change the agri scenario of the country, Modi said, it is India’s farmers who are to be credited for enabling the government to supply free rations to 80 crore individuals for 8 months during the coronavirus pandemic.
“So far, about 350 agricultural startups are being supported. These are related to food processing, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, manufacturing of smart farming equipment and renewable energy,” said the Prime Minister.
Launching the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, the Prime Minister underscored that it enables farmers to build warehouses for stocking their produce, promotes FPOs to build cold storage and warehouses for storing the farming produce.
“Firstly, through the e-NAM, a large technology-based system was created. Now, by making the law, the farmer has been exempted from the purview of the mandi and the mandi tax. Now the farmer has many options,” he declared.
Highlighting how all these efforts including the benefits under PM-Kisan are meant to help small farmers, he said that the Centre’s decision for a ‘record purchase’ of farmers’ produce meant an additional Rs 27,000 crore than last time has reached farmers’ pockets.
He said not only clusters would be created around villages but a 2-way system will start between villages and cities. Modi projected a scenario whereby village produce will be sent to cities where they will be turned into food products which will be sent back to villages.
He also mentioned about the Kisan Rail, “We started the ‘Kisan Rail’ between Maharashtra and Bihar, and it will benefit farmers immensely. These trains are cold-storage running on tracks. These will help farmers who deal in milk, fruits, vegetables and even fish.”