In February this year, just at the onset of Lok Sabha Polls 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
The Union agriculture ministry confirmed in an official statement, that the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers had been released. A senior official then quoted:
“To provide an assured income support to the small and marginal farmers, the government is launching the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme.”
The ministry also assured that another one crore farmers will be covered in the next 2-3 days then.
However, as per a ground report by Jansatta, the assured income support story seems to have instantly changed as the sixth phase of polling was through. The farmers in Uttar Pradesh are crying foul as the money deposited into their accounts three months ago, has been reversed or withdrawn.
Farmers of Muzaffarnagar have complained that they only learnt about the pulling-out of funds from their accounts, when they reached their respective banks for withdrawal. The bank manager informed them that there were no funds in their account. To this, the Farmers Union have expressed their anguish saying:
“We have been cheated by the government”
Nirotam Singh, a resident of Narkhi village in Firozabad (UP) too has a similar story to share. According to him:
“Couple of months ago, we were sent SMS on our mobile that ‘Rs 2000 has been deposited in your account’. When I went to the bank to enquire, I was informed no money has been deposited. I returned after one week again to check on the same, however, the balance still remained unchanged.”
In the interim Budget 2019-20, the central government had announced the PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year will be given in three instalments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to two hectares.
The scheme had been made effective from this fiscal itself and as a result, farmers would get one instalment before March-end. This programme was a part of the government’s effort to address farm sector distress, caused by lower sales realisation on bumper production of foodgrains, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and horticulture crops.