The Centre will transfer over Rs. 12,000 crore to the bank accounts of more than 6 crore farmers under the flagship PM-Kisan Scheme on January 2 at Tumkur in Karnataka. Prime minister Narendra Modi will release the funds as a new year gift to the farmers, sources said.
No farmer has received the installment of Rs. 2,000 since December 1 as the plan was to transfer the amount at one-go in new year, the sources said. This is the last tranche of installment this financial year and at least 6.5 crore farmers will get the benefit as their data have already been verified with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. Disbursal to above 6.5 crore farmers will depend on new enrollment under the scheme and data verification through Aadhaar, which is compulsory from December 1.
Of 14 crore farmers estimated to get the PM-Kisan benefits, the Centre has collected data of as many as 9.2 crore farmers as on December 29. West Bengal, with an estimated over 70 lakh farmers, is the only state out of the ambit of PM-Kisan as it has refused to share and authenticate farmers’ data. Uttar Pradesh is the top-performing state, which has collected data of nearly 2 crore (out of 2.4 crore) farmers, so far.
The Centre may be able to save about 40% of the budgeted Rs. 75,000 crore this financial year under the scheme while the total disbursal could be around Rs. 45,000 crore. Till November 30, the Centre had transferred Rs. 35,955.66 crore into bank accounts of 7.62 crore, 6.5 crore and 3.86 crore farmers (not mutually exclusive sets) as first, second and third installments, respectively, since the inception of the scheme. Of this amount, about Rs. 6,000 crore was disbursed in FY19.
The direct-benefit transfer scheme was announced by then finance minister Piyush Goyal during his Interim Budget speech in February. Initially, the target was to cover 12 crore small and marginal farmers (owning up to 2 hectare), with each getting Rs. 6,000/year in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each. But after returning to power in May, the NDA government expanded the scheme to cover all the farmers, benefiting additional 2 crore growers.