On 9 October 2019, the Cabinet announced the agreement to transfer the PM-Kisan benefit to the farmers without linking Aadhaar to their bank accounts until 30 November 2019. This will allow them to inject about Rs.8,000 crore into rural India immediately. Since 1 August 2019, farmers have received about Rs.9,000 crore, after Aadhaar linking was made mandatory.
From the time the scheme was instated, the government has transferred Rs.27,306 crore in total to 6.77 crore, 5.14 crore, and 1.74 crore farmers as the first three instalments. A government official stated that the transfer of PM-Kisan benefit had been slow due to the compulsory Aadhaar verification process. After relaxing the norm, the transfer process is expected to get faster. All eligible farmers may receive the benefit by Diwali (27 October) in their bank accounts.
State governments have sent a total of 7.15 crore farmers’ data to the Centre until 31 July, including the 4.74 crore farmers’ data uploaded until 31 March. These farmers are eligible to receive the second or third instalment during the August-November period. Whereas, the data received from 1 August, constituting about 1.35 crore, will be considered for the first instalment during the same period.
Previously, Aadhaar linking was made mandatory to receive any instalment benefits after 1 August. Only farmers of Assam, Meghalaya, and Jammu and Kashmir were exempted from this regulation until March 2020 as the Aadhaar penetration in these regions is poor.
Prakash Javadekar, the Information and Broadcasting Minister expressed that Aadhaar seeding is taking time; therefore, the norm has been relaxed until 30 November. He added that the norm relaxation lets farmers buy farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers as the rabi sowing season starts this month.
Last month, the government had opened an online portal under the scheme to make the self-registration process easier for farmers. The registration process includes a national helpline number to cover the maximum number of farmers as soon as possible.
Piyush Goyal introduced the scheme during the interim budget in February 2019 with a goal to cover 12 crore small and marginal farmers. Farmers owning up to 2 hectares of land will receive Rs.6,000 per year in three equal instalments of Rs.2,000 each. In its second term, the NDA government included an additional two crore farmers to the list at an estimated cost of Rs.75,000 crore per annum.
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