It has been two years since PM Kisan scheme has been implemented. Roughly, ₹75,000 crore transferred every year directly to farmers’ account. It is time to take a look at what the journey of PM Kisan has underlined so far.
For Small Farmers
PM Kisan is designed to lend income support for farmers with small landholdings. They constitute roughly 86% of farmers in India; however, most of the earlier schemes were beyond their ambit. Now, thanks to PM Kisan, 11.64 Crore families receive ₹6,000 annual farm income support. Compare this with the once-in-a-decade UPA loan waiver where hardly 4 crore farmers benefitted. Suffice to say that it excluded large number of small farmers and only rich farmers got the benefit of such loan waivers.
Direct and Transparent
In its two years, PM Kisan has lived up to its promise by doing timely payment. Since it is implemented via Direct Benefit Transfer, no one in the middle of the system can snatch the money meant for the farmer. There is no role for the bureaucracy or the political class to use its ‘discretion’ in giving out money under PM Kisan.
More than ₹1 lakh crore has been transferred to farmers to date.
Farmers can also do their self-registration through the Farmers Corner in the portal. They Just need an Aadhar linked to bank account and mobile to avail money via Direct Benefit Transfer.
Help in Times of Crisis
PM Kisan proved in times of Covid-19 that it can lend crucial assistance when needed the most. The first instalment of ₹2,000 to farmers due in 2020-21 was paid upfront in April 2020 as PM Garib Kalyan Package. Frontloading of scheme’s instalments helped the farmers mitigate adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
Relieving Small Farmers from the Clutches of Moneylenders
₹6,000 in a year may seem small to many people. But for a farmer who owns small land holding, the money comes at the time of making purchases like seeds or paying for the labourers. In the absence of such income support, he is left with the Hobson’s choice of raising that amount through the local moneylender, who usually charge at least 30% interest rate.
PM Kisan is helping the farmers in this regard in another way as well. The government is encouraging farmers under PM Kisan to avail institutional credit. There were saturation drives for saturating all PM-KISAN beneficiaries with Kisan Credit Card (KCC). This will help all such farmers to get short term loans for crop & animal/fish rearing at a maximum interest rate of 4% on timely repayment.
Pathway to Find Social Security Benefits
When a farmer comes in touch with banks to avail his PM Kisan money, he gets to know of many other social security benefit schemes of the government which are optional.
In addition to the KCC, with a view to provide social security to the PM KISAN beneficiaries banks are encouraged by the government to enrolling eligible farmers for the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY), after obtaining their consent. These schemes provide accident insurance and life insurance, at a premium of ₹12 and ₹330 respectively for an insured sum of ₹2 lakh in each case.