The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is a welfare scheme launched by the Government of India in 2019 to support the income of farmers across the country. The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to small and marginal farmers who may not have access to formal credit or other sources of income. In this article, we will take a closer look at the scheme, its benefits, and its impact on Indian farmers.
Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, eligible farmers receive direct cash transfers of Rs. 6,000 per year in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each. The scheme covers farmers who own less than two hectares of cultivable land, and the funds are directly credited to their bank accounts. The scheme is estimated to benefit around 12 crore farmers across the country with futures and options.
One of the key benefits of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is that it provides financial support to farmers, particularly small and marginal farmers who often face challenges in accessing formal credit. The funds can be used to purchase seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs, which can help increase agricultural productivity and improve farm incomes. The scheme can also help reduce the debt burden on farmers and provide a safety net in case of crop failures or other contingencies.
The scheme has been lauded for its potential to improve the livelihoods of farmers and reduce rural distress. The direct cash transfers are a more targeted and efficient way of providing support to farmers compared to other subsidy programs, which may benefit large landowners more than small and marginal farmers. The scheme is also expected to stimulate rural demand and contribute to overall economic growth with futures and options.
Since its launch in February 2019, the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana has disbursed more than Rs. 1.5 lakh crore to farmers across the country. The scheme has also undergone several modifications to address implementation challenges and expand coverage. For example, the government has extended the scheme to cover all farmers, regardless of their landholding size, and increased the frequency of payments to monthly installments.
The scheme has also faced criticism and challenges in implementation. One of the key challenges has been ensuring that the funds reach the intended beneficiaries, particularly in remote and rural areas where banking infrastructure may be limited. There have also been concerns about the exclusion of certain categories of farmers, such as sharecroppers and tenant farmers, who may not have formal land titles. Additionally, some experts have called for greater focus on improving agricultural productivity and reducing input costs, rather than relying solely on cash transfers with futures and options.
Despite these challenges, the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana remains an important initiative to support the livelihoods of Indian farmers. The scheme has provided much-needed financial assistance to farmers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, when rural distress and food insecurity were heightened. The scheme has also generated political momentum for further agricultural reforms, including measures to improve market access, reduce input costs, and increase investment in rural infrastructure.