- PM-KISAN scheme is a part of government's effort to address farm distress
- Under this scheme 12 crore small and marginal farmers will benefit
- Rs 6,000 will be paid to these farmers to hold cultivable land
Here's your 10-point cheat-sheet to this big story:
"Gone are those days when the government used to send Rs 100 rupee, but Rs 85 was lost in between corrupt middlemen and only a fraction of the total amount reached the beneficiary. PM-KISAN has been made foolproof so that nobody can snatch farmers' rights," PM Modi said.
The centre had announced the PM-KISAN scheme in the interim Budget 2019-20. Under this programme, Rs 6,000 will be paid to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land of up to two hectares per year in three instalments.
PM Modi said the project's launch demonstrates two things: the NDA's unwavering commitment to farmer welfare and speedy decision-making. "A scheme announced on February 1 has become reality in such a short span. This is the new work culture of New India," he said.
Opposition leaders, however, say that the speedy implementation of the scheme was only in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Many of them, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, even alleged that the money translates to a paltry Rs 3.3 a day per person for a family of five.
Some farmers are impressed with the scheme. "The way farmers are committing suicide across the nation, this government has done a cruel joke with them. Let the farmers teach this government a lesson," Punjab farmers' union leader Nachattar Singh told NDTV. "This scheme was introduced to buy the votes of farmers," Rajwinder Rana, another farmer in Punjab, told NDTV.
Nevertheless, the scheme is seen as a part of the government's effort to address farm distress caused by lower sales of foodgrain, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and horticulture crops. The funds will be electronically transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries through a pattern similar to MGNREGS.
PM Modi will also distribute certificates among select farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme and interact with select beneficiaries through video conferencing at the Gorakhpur event. He also plans to lay foundation stones and dedicate various development projects to the nation on the occasion.
PM-KISAN while being announced in the budget in February , was introduced - unusually - as a retrospective scheme, starting from December 1, 2018, which the government could use to argue makes it an ongoing scheme.
NDTV spoke to three former Chief Election Commissioners (CECs), who unanimously said that the payments could be made only to those beneficiaries who have been identified and enrolled before the Model Code of Conduct kicks in.
"If the beneficiaries have already been identified before the model code of conduct, they can receive (the payment). No new beneficiaries can be identified after the model code of conduct," Navin Chawla , who served as the CEC between April 2009 and July 2010 told NDTV. Another former CEC, Nasim Zaidi said, "If beneficiaries have not been identified, then payment cannot be made without permission of the Commission".