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Only 37% funds for PM-KISAN disbursed in 7 months

Harikishan Sharma
The Narendra Modi government announced the PM-Kisan scheme on February 1 in the Union Budget (Interim) 2019-20. (Representational Image)

Only 37 per cent funds under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme have been disbursed in the first seven months of the current financial year against the estimated amount allocated for it.

Out of the allocation of Rs 75,000 crore for FY 2019-20, Rs 27,937.26 crore has been spent until October-end, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

With hardly five months left for the current fiscal to end, there is a possibility that a large amount of the PM-KISAN funds may remain unspent.

“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,” Tomar said in a written reply to a question.

No specific reason was given for the slow spending. However, the minister said, “PM-KISAN is a continuous and ongoing scheme, in which the financial benefits are transferred to the bank accounts of the identified beneficiaries as and when their correct and verified data is uploaded by the concerned States / UTs on PM-Kisan web-portal. Therefore, the actual utilisation of the 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.”

He added, “The financial implication has been estimated on the basis of operational land holdings data as per Agri-Census Data 2015-16 extrapolated to 2018-19. The Census Data does not take care of joint land holdings. Therefore, there may be increase/decrease in number of beneficiaries from states as the onus lies with the state/UT governments to identify the beneficiaries and upload their details thereof on PM-KISAN portal.”

In 2018-19, the government had allocated Rs 20,000 cr for PM-KISAN trough revised estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. However, a written reply given by Tomar in the Lok Sabha on June 25 this year shows that Rs 6,662 crore was paid to the beneficiaries as the first instalment in the last financial year.

Under the PM-KISAN scheme, the government provides income support to the eligible beneficiary to the tune of Rs 6,000 per year, payable in three four-monthly instalments of Rs 2,000 each. The payment is made online directly into the bank accounts of the eligible beneficiaries under direct benefit transfer mode.

The Narendra Modi government announced the PM-Kisan scheme on February 1 in the Union Budget (Interim) 2019-20, and implemented it retrospectively with effect from December 1, 2018. Initially, it was projected that about 14.5 crore farmers will come in the ambit of the scheme, but the latest data in the minister’s reply shows that only 50 per cent —- 7.26 crore farmers —- have been benefited so far.