PM Modi to release cash, speak to farmers in Dec 25 outreach
Modi released the first tranche in 2019 and will do so again at a time when thousands of farmers, largely from Punjab, are protesting three agricultural laws they say will hurt their livelihoods.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the next tranche of PM-Kisan, the direct cash-transfer scheme for farmers, making payments worth ₹18,000 crore to 80 million farmers and also chat with some of them virtually on Christmas Day, the agriculture ministry has said.
Modi released the first tranche in 2019 and will do so again at a time when thousands of farmers, largely from Punjab, are protesting three agricultural laws they say will hurt their livelihoods. The government says the reforms will give farmers more market access and boost investment in the farm sector.
“It will be a freewheeling conversation. The Prime Minister is likely to talk about the new farm laws and how they will benefit farmers,” an official said, requesting anonymity.
Under PM-Kisan, the government provides income support of ₹6,000 a year to farmers with a valid enrolment, paid in three equal cash transfers of ₹2,000 — one every four months. It was launched on February 24, 2019, when the first instalment was paid.
The Prime Minister will most likely ask farmers impromptu questions on how they have benefited from the scheme and “take a briefing from them on what they are growing and what else they want to see done for them ahead of the budget”, the official said.
Farmers from all four corners of the country will be connected online through panchayat for the interaction, according to the official.
The Prime Minister also intends to use the session to receive feedback on the ground realities of farming, he said.
The Modi government has ramped up its outreach of farmers in the face of a massive, ongoing agitation by thousands of farmers who have encircled Delhi and are calling for the scrapping of a set of farm-reform laws. The protest entered its 26th day on Monday.
PM Modi has been frequently explaining the benefits of farm reforms and often assured farmers that the existing government support mechanism, including minimum support price and agriculture mandis, will continue.
“Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has expressed his feelings by writing a letter to the farmer brothers and sisters, attempting to have a polite dialogue. I request all the farmers to read it,” PM Modi had tweeted on Thursday.
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