PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana was launched to supplement the financial needs of land-holding farmers. Under this scheme, govt. will provide Rs 6000 per annum to farmers to buy inputs for farm activities.
Funding and Implementation:
- It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- To supplement the financial needs of the Small and Marginal Farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.
- To protect them from falling into the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in farming activities.
Eligibility to avail of benefits under the PM-KISAN scheme
Any small or marginal farmer should not fall under the following criteria to be eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. Below are some of the categories of beneficiaries who are not eligible for benefit under this scheme:
- Any institutional land-holders.
- The farmer as well as any member of the family belonging to the following categories:
- Former and present holders of constitutional posts
- Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers
- Former or present members of Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils
- Former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations
- Former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
- Any serving or retired officers as well as employees under the Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments.
- All retired pensioners who get a monthly pension of Rs. 10,000/ or more and belong to the above category.
- Any individual who paid their income tax in the last assessment year is not eligible under this scheme.
- Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carry out their profession by undertaking practices.
The farmers eligible under the scheme are required to produce the below-mentioned documents for their verification:
- Citizenship certificate
- Landholding papers
- Aadhaar card
- Bank account details
Similar programs by state governments:
- Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana in Madhya Pradesh sought to provide relief to farmers by providing the differential between MSPs and market prices.
- The Rythu Bandhu scheme of the Telangana government provides ₹4,000 per acre for every season to all the farmers of the state. Similar initiatives have also been framed in Jharkhand and Odisha.
- In December 2018, Odisha launched the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA). KALIA is more complicated in design and implementation. It commits to give Rs 5,000 per SMF, twice a year, that is Rs 10,000 a year.
While PM-KISAN aims to cover small and marginal farmers (85% of the farmer population), landless agricultural laborers and tenant farmers are left in the lurch.
The scheme leaves unanswered questions like,
- If beneficiary farmers wish to lease their lands to tenant farmers or keep their lands fallow for some time, are they eligible to receive cash benefits?
- Who will be accountable for checking the opportunistic behavior of farmers?
- Except for a few states, others are still lagging in maintaining a database for land records.
- There are concerns at the operational level regarding land record reconciliation, digitization of land records, and costs incurred in the consolidation of land records.
- The situation is slightly more complicated in the northeastern States, as land ownership rights in the region are community-based, making it difficult to identify beneficiaries.
- The mammoth drive of implementing PM-KISAN can increase opportunity costs of critical (human) resources, and operational risks and, eventually, shoot up operating expenses and strain the fiscal health of concerned states.