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Decline in PM-Kisan Beneficiaries and Saturation Drive Impact

Context:

The number of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme has recently witnessed a notable decline, dropping by over 20% from a peak of 10.47 crore in April-July 2022 to 8.12 crore. However, the government’s proactive efforts, including the “saturation drive” implemented as part of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, have resulted in the re-inclusion of 34 lakh farmers in the list of beneficiaries.

Relevance:

GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra: Campaign Overview
  2. PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan)
  3. Challenges of PM-Kisan

Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra: Campaign Overview

  • Nationwide Awareness Drive:
    • A countrywide campaign focused on conducting outreach activities to achieve the saturation of various Government of India schemes.
    • Targets coverage across all Gram Panchayats, Nagar Panchayats, and Urban Local Bodies.
  • Collaborative Approach:
    • Implemented through a comprehensive government approach with active participation from various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India, State Governments, Central Government Organizations, and Institutions.
Objectives:
  • Targeting the Eligible Vulnerable:
    • Reach out to individuals eligible under different schemes but have not yet availed of the benefits.
  • Information Dissemination and Awareness:
    • Disseminate information and generate awareness about government schemes.
  • Beneficiary Interaction:
    • Engage with beneficiaries of government schemes through the sharing of personal stories and experiences.
  • Enrolment of Potential Beneficiaries:
    • Facilitate the enrolment of potential beneficiaries by gathering relevant details during the Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan):

  • Launched to supplement the financial needs of landholding farmers.
  • Operational since December 2018.
Financial Benefits:
  • Provides a financial benefit of Rs 6000 per year, disbursed in three equal installments every four months.
  • Transferred directly into the bank accounts of farmers’ families nationwide through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
Eligibility and Scope:
  • Initially intended for Small and Marginal Farmers (SMFs) with landholding up to 2 hectares.
  • Later expanded to cover all landholding farmers.
Funding and Implementation:
  • Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
  • Implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Objectives:
  • Financial Support for Inputs:
    • Supplement the financial needs of Small and Marginal Farmers in procuring various inputs for crop health and yields.
  • Protection from Moneylenders:
    • Prevent farmers from relying on moneylenders for meeting expenses, ensuring their continued participation in farming activities.
PM-KISAN Mobile App:
  • Developed and designed by the National Informatics Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • Physical Verification Module:
    • Mandates a mandatory physical verification of 5% of beneficiaries annually, following the scheme’s laid-down provisions.

Challenges of PM-Kisan:

  • Complexity in Land Seeding and Aadhaar Linkage:
    • The mandatory provisions for land seeding and linking Aadhaar with active bank accounts have introduced complexity, posing challenges for farmers in meeting these prerequisites.
  • Technical Challenges in Remote Areas:
    • Farmers, especially those in remote locations, may encounter technical difficulties in fulfilling the Aadhaar linkage and land seeding requirements, impeding their access to PM-Kisan benefits.
  • Limited Awareness and Information:
    • Many eligible farmers may still lack awareness of the PM-Kisan scheme or have insufficient information about the application process, potentially leading to non-participation.
  • Outreach Challenges:
    • Despite outreach efforts, initiatives may struggle to reach all segments of the farming community, particularly those in remote or marginalized areas, resulting in uneven awareness and participation.
  • Technology Disparities:
    • Disparities in technology access, including smartphones and internet connectivity, may pose hurdles for farmers, limiting their ability to engage with the online processes required for PM-Kisan enrollment and compliance.

-Source: The Hindu


February 2024
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