PM-KISAN Providing Income Support to Farmers
Farmers of India have always played a vital role in the economic development of our country. Over the last eight years, there has been a paradigm shift in the Indian agriculture sector. The government has focused on protecting farmers from various risks, extending income support, improving access to information, and building forward linkages. This has led to the modernization of Indian agriculture and a substantial increase in farmer incomes.
In this, the PM KISAN scheme of the Government of India has played an important role.
PM-KISAN is a central sector scheme launched on 24th February, 2019 to supplement financial needs of land holding farmers. Financial benefit of Rs 6000/- per year in three equal instalments, every four month is transferred into the bank accounts of farmers’ families across the country through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
The scheme was initially meant for small and marginal farmers (SMFs) having landholding upto 2 hectares but scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers with effect from 01.06.2019.
Since the inception of this scheme, there have been multiple sets of technological & process advancements done in the scheme so that maximum number of beneficiaries can take the advantage of the same in an efficient way.
An assured cash transfer of Rs. 6,000 per year to each farmer as supplemental income received through regular instalments has enabled even small farmers to purchase better quality inputs, improve their land productivity, and increase their income.
As on August 31, 2022, 11.37 crore farmers have benefited under this scheme and funds amounting to more than Rs. Two lakh crores in 11 instalments have been released to the eligible beneficiaries.
As mentioned already, the scheme was initially meant for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) having landholding of up to two hectares but scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers with effect from 01.06.2019. PM-KISAN also helped to effectively mitigate the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by front-loading the scheme’s instalments for FY 2020-21. An amount of Rs. 1.29 lakh crores has been released during the pandemic (as on February 23, 2022).
Since the inception of this scheme, a set of technological and process advancements have been done in the scheme so that maximum number of beneficiaries can take the advantage of the same in an efficient way:
• Self-registration Mechanism: Process of self-registration of beneficiaries has been made simple and easy through a Mobile App, PM KISAN portal and walk-ins via Common Service Centers in order to give the maximum benefit to the farmers.
• Enhanced Recovery Mechanism: In case of an ineligible beneficiary, the recovery mechanism has been made very smooth and transparent which does not require a demand draft or a physical cheque to be submitted by the state. The process includes auto transfer from the state nodal department’s account to the Central Government account which makes this process very efficient and less time consuming.
• Grievance Redressal & Helpdesk: In order to address the issues and problems faced by the beneficiaries, a holistic grievance redressal mechanism has been envisaged which involves setting up of a central Project Management Unit of PM-KISAN at the Centre. A centralized help desk has also been introduced in order to support the beneficiaries regarding any issues faced during the registration process or for any other query.
• Physical Verification Module: In order to maintain the authenticity and validity of the scheme, a mandatory physical verification of 5% beneficiary every year is being done as per the provisions laid down in the scheme. With the help of Physical Verification Module, now the selection of a beneficiary for physical verification has been totally automated and no manual intervention is required.
• Income Tax verification: The beneficiary database in this scheme is being regularly validated with income tax payee database in order to have an audited and authenticated user base.
• Demographic Aadhaar authentication: To make this whole process more transparent and authenticated, Aadhaar validation has been made compulsory. As of February 24, 2022, the data of 11.20 crore beneficiaries is Aadhaar-seeded in the scheme.