Aware of the contribution of the rural distress in the defeat of recently concluded Assembly elections in three Hindi heartland states and general election round the corner, the BJP government on Friday announced direct income support to farmers. However, many have raised concerns over the inadequate sum assured and its coverage calling it "a joke".
Swaraj India President Yogendra Yadav said the announcement was "an insult to the injury" as every person in the five-member farmer family would get just Rs 3.25 per day.
"You can not even buy a cup of tea. The amount is meagre, laughable. It is a joke," Yadav said.
He said the income support scheme (PM- KISAN) was brought with an intention to purchase votes as it would be effective from December 2018 and first instalment will be disbursed in March this year, ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
"The BJP wants farmers to forget their grief of five years, forget the misery brought about by falling prices, forget the misery of demonetisation. Take Rs 2,000 and vote for us," he said.
Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced the PM -KISAN scheme for all farmers across the country on the lines of Odisha government's KALIA and Telangana government's's Rythu Bandhu schemes.
This scheme has left out the landless farmers who do not have any land but till others' land.
The tenant farmers and sharecroppers would not be benefited under this scheme, unlike the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation).
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader from Odisha and Lok Sabha MP Bhartruhari Mahtab said the PM-KISAN would benefit farmers in "limited way".
"The amount is paltry. Under KALIA, the landless farmers will be given Rs12,500 for activities like goat rearing, mushroom cultivation, beekeeping, poultry farming and fishery," he said.
Each farmer family will get Rs 5,000 separately in the kharif and rabi seasons under the KALIA scheme.
Talking to reporters, Goyal said "The only record available is of the farmers with landholdings. There are many other schemes that would automatically benefit the farmers who are tilling others' land."
"Those who own the land but not tilling it, I am sure they would pass on the benefit to those who are tilling the land," he said.
Noted agronomist Ashok Gulati also took a dig at the PM-KISAN scheme saying what happens in just Rs6,000 for one year.
"What does it mean? Is it a joke? It is like a drop in the ocean," he said.
Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) called it "jumla" and said Rs6,000 per year would amount to jus 3-5 pecent of total production cost.
It demanded that Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission should be implemented.
Yadav said the ongoing agitations for farm loan waiver and better MSP would continue.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)