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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

BJP targets Delhi, Bengal for not implementing PM-KISAN

By staying away from the PM-KISAN scheme, the Opposition-ruled states of West Bengal and Delhi have deprived farmers the benefit of cash transfers under the programme launched by PM Modi on February 24, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2019 08:56 IST
Zia Haq and Sweta Goswami
Zia Haq and Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP president Amit Shah
BJP president Amit Shah(PTI file photo)
         

By staying away from the PM-KISAN scheme, the Opposition-ruled states of West Bengal and Delhi have deprived farmers the benefit of cash transfers under the programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said.

With a general election weeks away, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has mounted an attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal for not implementing the scheme, under which small and marginal farmers with less than two hectares of land will get an annual income transfer of Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

“Bannerjee and Kejriwal have been very vocal on farmer issues. But why are they not implementing PM-KISAN? This only shows that their concern for farmers is just a poll gimmick. They do not have any genuine concern for farmers’ welfare,” said Anil Baluni, BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP.

Citing data received by his ministry, Singh said that of the 36 states and Union territories, only three – West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim – had not shown “any ownership” of the scheme. “These three states have not shared any farmer data in the PM-KISAN portal,” he said.

The revenue department of each state is responsible for providing land-holding patterns of farmers, which is the basis for deciding who qualifies for the cash transfer.

The first tranche of Rs 2,000 alone would have amounted to Rs 1,342 crore in total payouts to an estimated 6.7 million small farmers in West Bengal, while in Delhi, an estimated 15,880 small farmers stand to receive total cash transfers worth Rs 3 crore. Sikkim’s estimated 55,090 small farmers stand to gain Rs 11 crore in income transfers, Singh said.

PM-KISAN goes by land ownership on official records as on February 1, 2019. Of a total of 140 million land holdings in the country, 120 million, or 86%, are below two hectares; the owners of these land parcels are counted as small and marginal farmers.

Banerjee has launched her own set of populist schemes for farmers. Her Krishak Bandhu scheme has two components. On the death of a farmer, the state would give his family an assistance of Rs 2 lakh. The second part of the scheme consists of an annual grant of Rs 5,000 per acre of land to be paid in two instalments.

“No one thinks about farmers like we do. We have implemented the Krishak Bandhu scheme. About 12,000 farmers killed themselves across the country due to anti-farmer policies of the Narendra Modi government,” she said.

Asked why the Delhi government was not implementing PM-KISAN, Delhi revenue minister Kailash Gahlot said: “I don’t think revenue department has restricted flow of information.”

Delhi is the first state to implement recommendations of the Swaminathan report and Rs 100 crore has been allocated in the 2019-20 budget under which farmers will get 1.5 times the fixed minimum support prices, he said.

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 06:33 IST