New Delhi: The government aims to cover this year as many as 10 crore farmers under the PM-Kisan scheme, wherein they will be given Rs 6,000 annually in three equal instalments, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday. Around 5.88 crore small farmers have so far received the first tranche of Rs 2,000 each under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) and 3.40 crore peasants have got the second instalment as well, Tomar said.
“Barring West Bengal, all States are participating in the scheme. The progress so far is very good. We are targeting to reach out 10 crore farmers by end of the year,” Tomar told reporters. The scheme will cover all 14.5 crore farmers in the country, irrespective of the size of their landholding, he said.
The scheme was launched on 24 February this year in the run-up to the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh where the first rounds of instalments were paid to several farmers. Initially, the scheme was designed to cover an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
Later the scheme was revised to cover around additional 2 crore farmers, increasing the coverage of PM-Kisan to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries, with an estimated expenditure of Rs 87,217.50 crores by the Central Government in the fiscal year 2019-20.
Farmers will have to contribute Rs 100 per month under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana (PM-KISAN) that seeks to provide a minimum fixed monthly pension of Rs 3,000 on the attainment of 60 years, according to the government. The central government also will contribute an equal amount to the pension fund to be managed by the LIC, which will be responsible for the pension payout, it said.
The Modi 2.0 government in its first cabinet meeting had approved a separate pension scheme for farmers with an aim to cover 5 crore beneficiaries in the first three years, which would cost the exchequer Rs 10,774.5 crore per annum. Discussing the new scheme with State agriculture ministers through a video conference, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged all States and Union Territories to roll out the programme at the earliest.