Chennai: The welfare scheme that could have increased rural income and revived rural consumption in a slowing economy has reached only about 60 per cent of the targeted beneficiaries so far. Among the targeted 14 crore farmers, only 60 per cent has received benefits of the PM-Kisan scheme. And the government has disbursed just half of the allocated amount for 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, or PM-Kisan scheme, was announced in the pre- election mini-budget of February 2019 by minister Piyush Goyal. The scheme, launched with effect from a back date of December 1, 2018, envisaged transfer of Rs 6,000 a year to the bank accounts of all farmer families across the country in three equal installments, every four months.
The government hurriedly paid two instalments before the May 2019 general elections to some 6.5 crore beneficiaries. But after that the scheme seems to have lost momentum.
As per government data, 8.44 crore beneficiaries have received benefits under the scheme while about 9.6 crore beneficiaries, or 68.5 per cent of the target, have been registered under the scheme. Though the scheme is 100 per cent centrally-sponsored, its implementation is the job of state governments.
The scheme got a budgetary allocation of Rs 20,000 crore and Rs 75,000 crore for fiscal 2018-19 and 2019-20. Out of this Rs 95,000 crore allocation, Rs 50,522 crore, or 53 per cent, has been transferred to the beneficiaries. Though the projected allocation for the scheme in the current fiscal was Rs 75,000 crore, the government made a final allocation of only Rs 54,370 crore, citing implementation hurdles. Still, the latest budget has pegged allocation of Rs 75,000 crore for the scheme for the next fiscal, starting April.
The regulatory hurdles in identifying the beneficiaries and verifying the details are causing the delay in registering beneficiaries and disbursing the benefits.
The government gets verified details of land holdings, villages, bank related details and Aadhaar card number of the beneficiaries from the concerned states. These details are required to be verified by the PM-Kisan portal and initially the account validation is done through Public Finance Management System....