In a bit to fulfil the promises made to the Indian farmers under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, the government has paid Rs 12,000 crore to 6 crore farmers across the country. The money was directly transferred to the bank accounts of these farmers earlier in January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the third Global Potato Conclave in Gujarat. He also claimed that this a new record by the government for transferring such a huge amount. The government had introduced the PM-Kisan scheme last year to give financial assistance to poor farmers and support them in their agricultural activities.
Narendra Modi further said about disbursing the money that the priority of his government is "to reduce middlemen and other layers between the farmer and the consumer". He also said that the government is keen on promoting agricultural technology-based startups as well. This would help create farmers’ databases and agricultural stacks required for smart and precise practises in agriculture. Moreover, the government is expected to promote food processing industries at every level which can be done by opening the sector to 100 per cent FDI and help in "value addition and value chain development through PM-Kisan Sampada Yojana."
"Several efforts and steps are being taken to double the income of farmers by 2022. It is the result of the combination of efforts taken by farmers and the government policy that India has emerged as one of the top three nations in the production of grains and other food items," Modi said.
Meanwhile, the government is expected to spend around Rs 50,000 crore out of the total outlay of Rs 75,000 crore towards PM-Kisan in the current financial year, a TV news report had said earlier last week. The government has only spent Rs 43,000 crore in monetary support till now, and it is not clear whether the Rs 12,000 crore distributed by the government is in addition to that or is included in the Rs 43,000 crore spent till now.
The number of beneficiaries is expected to reach 9 crore families by mid-February while the data available on PM-Kisan dashboard suggests that the government had aimed to reach out to around 14.5 crore families. If the government is unable to distribute money completely by the fiscal end, a higher outlay under PM-Kisan in the upcoming budget is unlikely.