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11 mn UP farmers covered under PM Kisan, total payout reaches Rs 3,650 cr

It entitles beneficiaries to a payment of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in equal installment of Rs 2,000 every four months (Dec-Mar, Apr-July and Aug-Nov cycles)

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Farm, farmers, agriculture

Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for the maximum number of 23.8 million beneficiaries under PM Kisan, has so far covered 45% of farmers under the flagship minimum farm income guarantee scheme.

It entitles beneficiaries to a payment of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in equal installment of Rs 2,000 every four months (Dec-Mar, Apr-July and Aug-Nov cycles).

Earlier, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM Kisan) was targetted to benefit 120 million small and marginal farmers, of which UP had topped with 21.5 million or 18% of beneficiaries.

However, in its first cabinet meeting on May 31, as promised by the ruling BJP in its 2019 election manifesto, the new NDA government removed all preconditions and brought all Indian farmers, numbering 145 million across India, under its ambit.

Since, the Centre has expanded the purview of the scheme, all UP farmers – estimated at almost 23.8 million or 16% of total pan India beneficiaries – are now eligible for the direct benefit transfer (DBT).

According to the state government, nearly 11 million were paid more than Rs 2,190 crore as the first installment of as the installment during the last financial year.

For 2019-20 fiscal, of the 11 million registered beneficiaries, nearly 7.3 million farmers had been paid the first installment totalling Rs 1,460. Therefore, total payout of in UP so far stands at about Rs 3,650 crore.

The state agriculture department is in the process of enrolling beneficiaries under the central scheme after weeding out discrepancies, such as beneficiaries having bank accounts with regional rural banks or state cooperative banks, both of which are still non-public financial management system (PFMS) compliant. Of estimated 23.8 million farmers in UP, more than 90% or 21.5 million are clubbed as small and marginal.

The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Gorakhpur on February 24, 2019. The ruling BJP had deliberately chosen Gorakhpur to launch the scheme to reassert the importance of UP in the run up to Lok Sabha polls, since it elects the maximum number of 80 Lok Sabha members.

Meanwhile, the stands to save about Rs 120 crore per month or Rs 1,440 crore annually in subsidy dole by using electronic point of sale (e-PoS) at the public distribution system (PDS) shops.

More than 80,000 e-PoS machines are being used for the distribution of ration at these fair price shops. The average monthly saving in the urban and rural areas stands at Rs 20 crore and Rs 100 crore respectively, according to UP additional food commissioner Anil Kumar Dubey.

The PDS has been computerised to make the process more transparent and provide ration at fair rate and quantity to 135 million ration cardholders in the state on the basis of their Aadhaar authentication.

First Published: Wed, July 31 2019. 17:28 IST