India since time immemorial has faced sever shortages of food and has been hit by widespread famines, droughts and related adversaries of nature. To meet the huge food demand of 130 crore plus people, farmers are the backbone of our society. They are the ones who not only provide the whole nation with the food we eat working hard in the fields day in and day out. As a result, the entire population of the country depends upon farmers. Be it the small farmer holding small amount of land or the big farmer holding acres, because of them only we are able to live on the planet. Therefore farmers are an integral part of our lives.
Farming is a significant part of the Indian economy, as it adds about 17% of the absolute GDP. It gives employment to over 60% of the population. Therefore in India, farmers are an important part of the existence of our various societies because they provide food and fiber which gives us nutrition and cloth. Thus it becomes essential to provide financial support to this sector so that it can flourish as well.
The Indian government has taken many initiatives for the welfare of the farmers. The PM Kisan Yojana is one such scheme that became operational from 1.12.2018. This is a Central sector scheme which is 100 percent funded by the government of India which provides income support to the farmers and their families. Under this scheme all small and marginal farmers will be given an income support of Rs6,000/- per year in three equal installments which will be deposited directly in their bank accounts. The direct transfer of money into the bank accounts is one of the biggest advantage of this scheme. Nine crore farmers were benefitted with this scheme on 25th December, 2020 in the presence of PM Narendra Modi when Rs.18000 crores were directly transferred into their bank accounts. Apart from direct transfer of funds digitalization of farmer records have brought a new start to this welfare scheme. All the records related with the farmers is registered officially on a digital platform which has made the registration and fund transfer simple and easy. Another advantage of this scheme is that it does not discriminate while choosing the PM Kisan beneficiaries. Moreover this scheme is also a big step towards government’s initiative to modernize agriculture.
The PM Kisan scheme helps farmers in obtaining various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income.
The farmers who are found eligible under this scheme are required to provide the following documents for their verification so that government and corresponding authorities are well aware of their KYC and other details. State Government and UT administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines. The documents required are as follows:
- Citizenship Certificate
- Landholding Papers
- Aadhaar Card
- Bank Account Details.
Every small or marginal farmer cannot be a beneficiary under this scheme. Some of the below mentioned beneficiary categories who are not eligible under this scheme are as follows:
- Any institutional land-holders.
- The farmer as well as any member of the family belonging to the following categories:
- Former and present holders of constitutional posts
- Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers
- Former or present members of Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha/ State Legislative Assemblies/ State Legislative Councils
- Former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations
- Former and present Chairpersons of District Panchayats.
- Any serving or retired officers as well as employees under the Central/ State Government Ministries /Offices/Departments.
- All retired pensioners who get a monthly pension of Rs.10,000/-or more and belonging to the above category.
- Any individual who paid their income tax in the last assessment year is not eligible under this scheme.
- Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices.
New operational guidelines states that in case of new beneficiaries being uploaded on the PM-KISAN Portal, all land holding farmers’ families who are Non-resident Indians (NRIs) in terms of the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 are forfeited from any benefit provided by the government under the Scheme. For the purpose of above forfeiting State and Union Territory Governments can properly scrutinize and then certify the candidature of the beneficiaries based on self-declaration by them. In case beneficiary is not available / does not reside in the village, State / UT Governments may consider certification based on the declaration by other adult member of his / her family. In case of incorrect self declaration, beneficiary shall be liable for recovery of transferred financial benefit and other penal actions as per law.
Beneficiaries under the scheme will be identified by the respective State and Union Territory. The details of farmers are being maintained by the States and Union Territories either in electronic form or in manual register to get the details back as and when required. To make integrated platform available in the country to assist in benefit transfer, a platform named PM-Kisan Portal available at URL (http://pmkisan.gov.in) has been launched for uploading the farmers’ details at a single internet platform in a proper structure, it can prove handy getting the details from this single source.
The objectives for PM-Kisan Portal are as follows –
i) To provide verified and single source of truth on farmers’ details at the portal.
ii) To provide timely assistance to the farmers in farm operation.
iii) A unified internet based platform for transferring of cash and monetary benefits of the scheme directly into farmer’s bank account through Public Financial Management System (PFMS) integration.
iv) Location wise availability of benefited farmers’ list.
v) Ease of monitoring the process and getting the required details across the country on fund transaction and other monetary entitlements.