In what can only be described as an insensitive and anti-farmer move, the governments of West Bengal and Delhi have not uploaded the details of farmers on the PM-KISAN portal. Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh said that 67.11 lakh farmers in West Bengal would have received Rs. 2,000 each had the state uploaded the details of farmers and availed the first installment of Rs 1,342 crore under the PM-KISAN scheme. Similarly, 15,580 farmers in Delhi were deprived of their share of Rs. 3 crore meant for them under the PM-KISAN scheme.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, Rs. 6,000/- will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. This amount will be given in three installments of Rs. 2,000/- each. The purpose of launching this scheme was to help the farmers in augmenting their finances and to make better investments for crop production. The PM-KISAN scheme aims to supplement the financial needs of the SMFs in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle. This would also protect them from falling in the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in the farming activities.
The first round of payment of Rs. 2,000 has to be made before the end of the financial year 2018-19. However, it is clear that the governments of Delhi and West Bengal are not concerned about the welfare and upliftment of marginalised farmers in their states. It is shocking how the Kejriwal government in Delhi and the Mamata government in West Bengal are trying to deny farmers their due wholly because of political reasons. Lakhs of farmers will remain deprived of benefits under the historic scheme only due to the political arrogance of the Delhi chief minister Kejriwal and the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. It seems that for such megalomaniac leaders political ramifications of the scheme are more important than the benefits to which the farmers will be entitled. This amounts to a travesty of justice, especially in the state of West Bengal where more than 67 lakh farmers will remain deprived of the benefits of the scheme. Even in Delhi, thousands of farmers stand to lose out on assisted income under the income.
It is not for the first time that the PM-KISAN scheme has become a victim of unfortunate politicisation. Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had claimed that the government was insulting the peasants by giving them merely Rs. 17 per day. It seems that Rahul Gandhi had failed to comprehend the simple fact that the benefit under the PM-KISAN scheme is not going to be the actual income of the farmers. It is only in the nature of assisted income to the farmers in order to support them. Assisted income is not supposed to defray all the living expenses, it is only meant to alleviate their distress.
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