Payouts to ryots from this month itself: Economic Affairs Secretary

Subhash Chandra Garg  

The government will start disbursing a substantial amount under the income support scheme for small farmers this month itself as beneficiary data are already in place, a top official of the Finance Ministry said.

In his interim Budget speech on Friday, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme, under which ₹6,000 per year would be provided to farmers holding cultivable land of up to 2 hectare.

Mr. Goyal has already earmarked ₹20,000 crore for disbursal among 12 crore farmers under the scheme in the current financial year.

“It has been decided to implement the scheme with effect from December 1, 2018. The allocation of ₹20,000 crore, required for the current fiscal, has been made in the Budget. Land record data are available. We have all the information about small and marginal farmers,” Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told PTI in a post-Budget interview.

The government last year released Agriculture Census 2015-16 and most States have moved to electronic record-keeping. Mr. Garg said the Agriculture Department would now relate the holdings to the families which will receive assistance.

“They (Agriculture Department) expect to make disbursements of substantial amounts in the month of February itself. That is the expectation and confidence of the (Agri) department,” he said. Supplementaries would be presented in the current session to seek Parliament’s nod for spending an additional ₹20,000 crore for the scheme, he said.

The ongoing budget session is scheduled to conclude on February 13.

The PM-KISAN scheme has been approved by the Cabinet and therefore the administrative department can go ahead with it, Mr. Garg said.

He said 12 crore beneficiaries have been identified with the help of Agriculture Census Data 2015-16.

“The census has detailed data which is divided into groups — people owning land up to 0.5 hectare, 0.5-1 hectare, 1-2 hectare, 2-4 hectare and beyond and every ‘khesra’ of land in the country has been counted. This is data of operational holdings,” he said.

Interest subsidy

Apart from direct income support to farmers, Mr. Goyal had also announced extended interest subsidy on loans availed for animal husbandry and fishery as well as to those farmers affected by severe natural calamities.

Consequently, the total budget allocation for agriculture and allied activities is projected higher at ₹1,49,981 crore for 2019-20, when compared to the revised estimate of ₹86,602 crore for 2018-19.

The fertilizer subsidy is pegged at ₹74,986 crore for the next fiscal as against ₹70,075 crore.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 9:09:16 AM |

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