The Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today asked the West Bengal government to join the ambitious central scheme, PM-Kisan, which completed one year of operation without the state on board.
Barring West Bengal, all other states and union territories are implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) which has benefited 8.45 crore farmers so far in the country, against the target of 14 crore farmers.
The minister also launched PM-Kisan mobile App on completion of one year of the implementation of the scheme.
Mr Tomar said: "West Bengal has not yet joined the scheme. There are 70 lakh farmers in the state. Benefits worth about Rs 4,000 crore will reach to these farmers if implemented."
Of the 70 lakh farmers from the state, about 10 lakh farmers have already self-registered for the scheme via the online portal of PM-Kisan, he said and added the cash benefit to these farmers will reach once the state government verifies the data.
Stating that the cash benefit under the scheme will not only help farmers but also boost the state economy, Mr Tomar said: "Our officials have approached the state government in this regard many times. I have also written twice to the chief minister urging to join the scheme. But no reply has come yet from the CM."
Mr Tomar said some states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim are slow in authenticating their farmers' data and the central government is pursuing with them seriously.
The aim is to achieve the target of 14 crore farmers by next year. On PM-Kisan portal, the centre has received data of total 9.74 crore farmers. Already, payment has been made to 8.45 crore farmers, he said.
About 85 per cent of the farmers data registered under the scheme has been Aadhar verified, the rest will be completed soon, he added.
Under the scheme, the centre is paying Rs 6,000 annually in three equal installments to eligible farmers.