Hyderabad: The Central government has made the Aadhaar compulsory to avail the financial benefits under the Pradhan Mantri KISAN (Kisan Samman Nidhi) scheme for farmers. The Centre has sent guidelines for the scheme to all state governments and has asked them to follow the same while selecting beneficiaries and submit the list accordingly.
The guidelines stipulate that Aadhaar number will be compulsory for payment of all but the first installment.
According to the guidelines, the states government have to prepare databases of eligible small and marginal landholder farmer families in the villages, with details like name, gender, whether belonging to SC/ST, Aadhaar number (Aadhaar enrollment number in case Aadhaar number has not been issued), bank account number and mobile number. For transfer of the first of the amount, which is for the period from December 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, Aadhaar number can be substituted with documents like driving licence, voter ID, NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) job card number or any other identification document issued by the Central or state government.
However, for transfer of subsequent instalments Aadhaar will be a must.
The cut-off date for confirming ownership of land (as per land records) under the scheme was February 1, 2019 and no more claims will be considered for the next five years. However, the benefit will be allowed on transfer of ownership of cultivable land on account of succession. The funds pertaining to income support benefit will be released from the Central government periodically based on receipt of fund transfer order through the state governments concerned.
Officials in a fix
The central government in its guidelines has said that "small and marginal landholder farmer families for the purpose of the calculation of the benefit is defined as a family comprising husband, wife and minor children up to 18 years old who collectively own cultivable land up to 5 acres as per land records of the concerned state." However, officials are unsure about the fate of the families where the children are more than 18 years old. A senior official, meanwhile, expressed his view that generally in such schemes, while identifying the beneficiaries, only the wife and husband are considered.
PMU at centre level
The Central government will set up a Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) headed by a chief executive officer (CEO) for overall monitoring of the scheme. The Centre has asked state governments to designate a nodal department for implementation of the scheme. The Central government has also asked all state governments to take timely action for the identification of eligible beneficiaries to ensure the transfer of benefits under the scheme.