Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks while releasing the eighth instalment of minimum financial benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PTI)
NEW DELHI: For the first time on Friday, the benefits under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme reached farmers of West Bengal as about 7.03 lakh of them got Rs 2,000 each under the programme launched more than two years ago.
Under the scheme, also known as PM-KISAN, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible farmers, payable in three equal 4-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. The scheme was launched in February 2019 but was implemented with effect from December 2018.
The scheme was not implemented till now in West Bengal as the state government and the Centre were at loggerheads over various issues, including verified data of farmers.
“Today, the first installment has reached lakhs of farmers of Bengal. As the names of farmers from the state are received by the central government, the number of beneficiary farmers will increase,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after releasing the 8th installment of the financial benefit under the scheme at a virtual event.
About 7.03 lakh farmers from West Bengal on Friday got the first installment of Rs 2,000 in their bank accounts, the Prime Minister said.
Under the 8th installment disbursed on Friday, a total of Rs 20,667 crore was transferred to more than 9.5 crore farmers across the country, including those from West Bengal.
The scheme is benefitting small and marginal farmers a lot in the current difficult times of COVID-19, Modi said.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was present at the virtual event, recalled that the Prime Minister had directed his ministry to take measures to bring all states under the scheme as soon as possible.
“In the absence of West Bengal, we were not able to tell all states have joined the scheme… Today, West Bengal has joined the scheme and more than 7 lakh farmers will get the benefit,” he added.
Earlier, the central government had said the scheme could not be implemented in West Bengal as the state government had refused to provide verified data of farmers.
“Implementation has not started in West Bengal as the state refused to provide verified data of farmers. Just before the code of conduct for election came into force, the Government of West Bengal decided to come on board but the process to be completed at the level of the state was not fully complied with,” Tomar had said in Parliament in March.
Soon after winning the just-concluded West Bengal assembly elections, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had shot off a letter to the central government demanding release of Rs 18,000 arrears to each eligible farmer from the state.
Under the scheme, more than Rs 1.35 lakh crore has been transferred to farmers so far.