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How ‘PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana’ is transforming farmers’ lives

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New Delhi, Feb 28

The Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an ambitious scheme for farmers’ welfare – the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) – on February 2, 2019.

The scheme was launched with the objective of ensuring positive supplementary income support for the farmer families in the country, and also to promote a productive, competitive, diversified, inclusive and sustainable agriculture sector.

Definitely, the scheme is transforming the lives of small and marginal farmers who are now a happier lot.

Significantly, this is one of the largest DBT schemes in the world. Under the scheme, the eligible farmer families are provided a benefit of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each, every four months.

The benefit is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the eligible beneficiaries through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode, using modern digital technology.

The Central government provides 100 per cent funding for the scheme. In what underlines the inclusive nature of the scheme, at least one out of four beneficiaries is a woman farmer. Moreover, more than 85 per cent of small and marginal farmers are beneficiaries under the scheme.

Needless to say, the scheme in the first five years has crossed many milestones and has received accolades from various organisations, including the World Bank, for its sheer vision, scale, and the seamless transfer of funds directly into the accounts of the eligible farmers.

A study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on farmers of Uttar Pradesh indicates that the benefits under PM-Kisan reached the majority of the farmers, who received the full amount without any leakages.

As per the same study, the farmers receiving cash transfers under PM-KISAN were more likely to invest in buying agricultural equipment, seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides.

With an objective to make the scheme more efficient, effective and transparent, continuous improvements in a farmer-centric digital infrastructure have been made to ensure the benefits of the scheme reach all the farmers across the country without any middleman’s involvement, said a PIB release.

The PM-Kisan portal has been integrated with the portals of UIDAI, PFMS, NPCI, and the Income Tax department. The states/UTs and all other stakeholders are on-boarded on the PM-Kisan platform to provide quick services to the farmers.

While the farmers can register their grievances on the PM-Kisan portal and take the help of a 24×7 call facility for effective and timely resolution of issues, the government has also developed the ‘Kisan e-Mitra’ (a voice-based AI Chatbot), which enables the farmers to raise queries and get them resolved in their own language in real-time.

The Kisan-e-Mitra is now available in 10 languages, i.e., English, Hindi, Odia, Tamil, Bangla, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu and Marathi.

To address the issue of farmers at the village-level related to the PM-Kisan scheme, village-level nodal officers have been designated in all the villages across the country. Onboarding of the Indian Post Payments Bank (IPPB) with the PM-Kisan scheme has facilitated the opening of Aadhaar bank accounts of the beneficiaries at their convenience and doorsteps without any hassle.

Recently, as part of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, the Government of India launched a nationwide campaign to saturate the PM-Kisan scheme with the eligible farmers.

During the campaign, over 90 lakh eligible farmers, including six lakh PVTG farmers, were included under the PM-Kisan scheme.

With the 16th instalment amount, the scheme has benefitted more than 11 crore eligible farmer families with Rs 3 lakh crore, according to an official release.

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