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Topic : Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) Scheme and Voluntary Surrenders

GS-3 Mains  : Economy

Revision Notes

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) Scheme is a central government initiative launched in 2019 to provide financial assistance to landholding farmers in India. Let’s delve into the scheme’s details, eligibility criteria, and recent trends of voluntary surrenders by beneficiaries.

Income Support for Farmers:

PM-Kisan is a Central Sector scheme, entirely funded by the government. It aims to address the liquidity needs of farmers and facilitate access to agricultural inputs. The scheme offers an annual income support of ₹6,000 to eligible farmer families. This amount is disbursed in three equal installments of ₹2,000 every four months, directly transferred to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.

Who Can Enroll?

Most landholding farmer families are entitled to PM-Kisan benefits, with some exceptions. These exclusions include institutional landholders, individuals holding specific constitutional posts or government jobs, and regular employees of local bodies. State governments identify eligible beneficiaries as per the scheme’s guidelines. To ensure transparency, eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) is mandatory for registered farmers. This can be done through the PM-Kisan portal or nearest CSC (Common Service Centre).

Recent Trend of Voluntary Surrenders

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare reveals a trend of farmers voluntarily opting out of PM-Kisan between June 2023 and May 2024. This raises questions about the reasons behind these surrenders.

Possible Reasons for Opting Out:

The reasons for voluntary surrender could be varied. Some farmers might be absentee landlords, with ineligible descendants or changes in landownership status. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have reported the maximum number of voluntary surrenders.

Equity Grants to Empower Farmers

While some farmers exit the scheme, PM-Kisan also empowers those who remain. The program provides equity grants to Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). FPOs play a crucial role in reducing input costs and strengthening farmers’ bargaining power in the market.

The Bigger Picture: Agriculture in India

India’s agricultural sector employs a significant portion of the population. The government recognizes this sector’s importance and has implemented various initiatives to support farmers. The Constitution itself acknowledges agriculture as a state subject under Schedule VII (List II). Additionally, the Directive Principles of State Policy emphasize the state’s responsibility towards modernizing agriculture and animal husbandry.

Challenges Persist Despite Support

Despite government efforts, Indian farmers grapple with several challenges. Small landholdings make it difficult to adopt modern techniques and compete effectively. Climate change disrupts weather patterns, impacting crop yields. Farmers often struggle with limited market access and fair prices for their produce. High input costs and debt burdens further strain their financial well-being.

Other Initiatives for Agricultural Growth

The PM-Kisan scheme is just one piece of the puzzle. The government has launched other programs to address these challenges. These include:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY): This scheme provides pension benefits to small and marginal farmers upon reaching 60 years of age.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): This program offers crop insurance against natural risks, mitigating financial losses for farmers.
  • Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) & Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Saturation Drive: This initiative provides concessional loans to farmers, while KCC facilitates credit access.
  • Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs): This program empowers farmers by fostering collective bargaining through FPOs.

Conclusion: A Collaborative Effort for a Sustainable Future

The PM-Kisan scheme serves as a significant safety net for farmers. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the trend of voluntary surrenders and investigate the underlying reasons. Addressing these concerns and collaborating with policymakers, researchers, and farmers will ensure sustainable agricultural growth and improve the livelihoods of those who nourish our nation.

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/over-1-lakh-farmers-voluntarily-gave-up-their-pm-kisan-benefits-last-year-9370297/

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