PM-Kisan Yojana and its Shortcomings

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) is a cash transfer programme for farmers.

About the Scheme

The PM-Kisan Yojana was originally introduced to supplement the financial needs of small and Marginal Farmers. But the scheme has been now expanded to include all categories of agricultural landowners for augmenting farm incomes.

Under the scheme Rs. 6,000 is offered as a direct benefit transfer a year per household in three instalments. Even though the amount appears to be meagre, it provides some relief to poor farmers by partially supplementing their input costs or consumption needs.

Shortcomings of the Scheme

  • The amount transferred under the scheme accounts only a tenth of the production cost per hectare or consumption expenditure for a poor household. Hence the support is largely symbolic and not sustentative.
  • The cash transfer is not linked to the size of the farmer’s landholding. Unlike Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme, which offers farmers Rs 8,000 per annum for every acre owned.
  • PM-Kisan yojana completely disregards landless tenants and poor rural households that do not own land.
  • There has been a huge delay in disbursements. The first quarterly instalment which was supposed to be provided in the last financial year is yet to be disbursed in large parts of the country.
  • While the 125 million farming households owning small and marginal holdings of land in the country where the scheme’s original intended beneficiaries, the coverage was abysmally low at around 32 per cent and only 17% of the estimated Rs 75,000 crore has been spent.

PM-Kisan provides for a timely intervention to support the farmer’s needs. But this must not become the excuse for withholding the large structural reforms in agriculture the country is in dire need of, both in interests of farmers and consumers.

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