AIR Spotlight - PM Kisan Scheme and its Role in Farmers’ Welfare

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panelists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in the IAS exam preparation. In this article, the discussion is on the PM KISAN scheme and its role in farmers’ welfare 

Participants:

  1. Harvir Singh, Agriculture Expert.
  2. Ruchika Chitravanshi, Journalist.

Context:

India has completed 75 years of independence. Against this backdrop, this article analyzes the PM KISAN scheme and its role in farmers’ welfare. 

PM KISAN Scheme

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is also known as the PM KISAN program. This is the first basic universal income program targeting many small and marginal farmers.

  • It is a scheme with 100% funding from the Central Government of India and is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • The program was launched in December 2018, initially providing income support to all small and marginal farmers. The program was then extended to all farmers in May 2019.
  • The Union budget allocated Rs 75,000 crore to the program in 2021. 
  • The program is expected to increase coverage to approximately 14.5 million beneficiaries, 80-85 per cent of whom are smallholder farmers and farmers with less than 2 hectares of land. 

Read more on the PM KISAN scheme in the link.

Benefits of the Scheme:

  • The PM-KISAN scheme will provide farmers with assured supplemental income. This has been done because the government is aware that the smaller the landholding, the greater the need for financial support.
  • Under the PM KISAN scheme, income support of Rs.6,000 per year is given to all farmer families having cultivable land in their name, irrespective of the size of their landholdings.
  • The amount of Rs.6,000 is given in three equal instalments every year.

Challenges:

  • PM KISAN aims to include small and marginal farmers (85% of the agricultural population); landless agricultural workers are not included in the scheme.
  • It is difficult to identify beneficiaries in the northeastern states, as land ownership in the area is communal.

Other important initiatives by central and state governments:

  • All the records related to farmers are registered officially on a digital platform which has made the registration and fund transfer easy. The digitized records have brought about a new start to the PM KISAN welfare scheme.
  • The Telangana government’s Rythu Bandhu program provides Rs.5,000 per acre per season to all farmers in the state. Jharkhand and Odisha are also running similar initiatives.
  • The Kisan Credit Scheme (KCC) was introduced to meet the various credit requirements of the agriculture sector by giving financial assistance to farmers.

Way Forward:

  • The impact of a welfare measure like PM KISAN can only be achieved through financial support aimed at providing farmers with enough purchasing power to meet their basic daily needs. So, to be effective, any cash transfer program must first ensure there is enough money to help lift an affected community out of poverty. 
  • Applying technology to solve liquidity problems is just a cog. 
  • Knowledge support and extension activities are also needed to promote adoption. 
  • By investing more in agricultural consulting services, the government can motivate farmers to invest some or all of their supporting income in productive assets to achieve the multiplier effect of PM KISAN. 
  • The program needs supporting infrastructure and institutions to be effective. 
  • The adoption of modern technology is one of the most promising strategies for increasing farmers’ incomes. 
  • In addition, a bottom-up alternative strategy and a well-planned implementation mechanism should be defined and implemented at the local level. 
  • The most effective practices can then be replicated nationally and their success would be guaranteed.

Conclusion:

  • PM KISAN is an ambitious program with the potential to deliver significant health outcomes.  
  • A direct cash transfer scheme like PM KISAN is game-changing and can have significant impacts if it is timely, does not burden transaction costs, and is provided with additional inputs such as services that encourage agriculture.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – PM Kisan Scheme and its Role in Farmers’ Welfare:- Download PDF Here

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