New Delhi: Rajiv Kumar, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman, has advised the states to identify the farmers eligible for the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’ announced in the Budget. On Friday, the scheme was introduced in the interim Budget presented at the parliament. Under the scheme, each farmer who holds cultivable land up to two hectares would be provided financial aid of ₹6,000.00 per year. Moreover, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced a provision of ₹75 billion for the purpose.
The ₹6,000 support package would be provided to the eligible farmers, in three instalments of ₹2,000 each. Nearly 12 crore farmers are believed to benefit from the scheme. In Maharashtra, about 1.5 crore farmers hold land of 2 hectares or less. The state government officials have said that these farmers could derive benefits from the scheme. Therefore, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar’s advice on the matter assumes importance.
However, the opposition has criticised the provision claiming the ₹6,000 aid of being grossly insufficient for the farmers. Their leaders have said that the assistance would not resolve the problems of the farmers and have demanded the Center for additional aid for them. At the same time, some agriculture experts have also stated that the amount is not meaningful and the farmers would not benefit significantly due to it. Nevertheless, the Center has clarified that it is only a support package for the farmers.
Also, citing the Budget presented on Friday as an interim budget, the government claimed that it has tried to help farmers within the constraints of the interim budget. Meanwhile, the agriculture experts believe that there is a need to evaluate and address the problems associated with agriculture, at the very basic level and providing only loan waivers would not resolve the problem. Without an excellent minimum support price for the agricultural produce and effective implementation of the irrigation schemes, the issues faced by the farmers would remain unresolved. Therefore, the experts say that temporary measures would not go far and not offer success to a great extent.