Already facing criticism for being a suit-boot ki sarkar, a recent Right To Information reply has revealed that over five crore farmers are yet to get the third installment of money under the Centre’s ambitious PM-Kisan scheme.
The scheme is aimed at providing direct support of Rs 6,000 annually to farmers and the total amount of the scheme, which came into effect on December 1, 2018, is to be paid in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 every four months.
According to the latest Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare data, about 2.51 crore farmers have not got even the second installment and 5.16 crore of them were yet to get the third installment. Over 9 crore farmers have registered themselves under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019, it said. Of these, 7.62 crores or 84 percent of farmers have received the first installment.
The money through the second installment was given to nearly 6.5 crore farmers and the amount under the third installment was given to 3.85 crore beneficiaries, according to the data received in response to an RTI query.
The agriculture ministry, in its response, gave three sets of data mentioning the benefits given to farmers under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019. It said 4.74 crore farmers were registered between December 2018 and March 2019. Of them, 4.22 crore received the first installment, 4.02 crore the second and 3.85 crores the third.
There was no mention why nearly 50 lakh, 70 lakh, and 90 lakh registered farmers during this period did not get the first, second and third installment respectively. There was no registered beneficiary in West Bengal and Sikkim, hence no amount was disbursed during this period, according to the data.
Giving details of the 3.08 crore farmers registered between April and July last year, it said 2.66 crore and 2.47 crore beneficiaries have got their first and second installments respectively. The RTI reply did not mention why around 40 lakh and 61 lakh registered farmers during this period did not get their first and second installment respectively.
“The beneficiaries are eligible for the installment for the period in which he/she gets registered and subsequent periods, thereafter. Therefore, the third installment is not due for the beneficiaries registered in the period April 2019-July 2019,” the ministry said. There was no registered beneficiary during this period in West Bengal, Punjab, and Chandigarh and therefore nobody was paid first and second installments.