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Lucknow Feb 28 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh has emerged as the major beneficiary of the PM Kisan minimum income guarantee scheme for small and marginal farmers.
The most populous state of the country has cornered the lion’s share of the total disbursal under the scheme, which was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Gorakhpur on Sunday.
Of the 1 crore pan India beneficiaries, who received their first installment of Rs 2,000 under the scheme, more than 40 Lakh or 40 per cent, belonged to UP alone. The payment was facilitated directly to the bank accounts at the click of a button by Modi.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) is targetted to benefit over 12 crore small and marginal farmers across India, of which UP accounts the maximum number of 2.14 crore farmers, or nearly 18 per cent, of targeted beneficiaries. The state, which elects the maximum number of Lok Sabha members at 80, led with more than 40 per cent of its farmers comprising the first batch of beneficiaries, collectively receiving over Rs 800 crore of the total Rs 2,021 crore disbursed so far.
“We have provided the details of about 1.5 crore beneficiaries to the Centre under PM Kisan, of which more than 40 lakh received their first installment of the payment on Sunday. The process for the remaining farmers is already on,” UP agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said here on Wednesday. He said the state has also speeded up the preparation and validation of the detail of the remaining over one crore farmers before forwarding them to the Centre for processing and disbursal of their first installment going forward.
PM Kisan is estimated to cost the exchequer Rs 75,000 crore annually. It guarantees an income of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in equal installment of Rs 2,000 every four months.
Addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Kisan Morcha national convention while launching the flagship scheme, Mr Modi had advised the state governments to expedite the process of enlisting farmers under the scheme and sending details to the Centre for processing disbursal.
Besides, the PM had assured the remaining beneficiaries would receive their first installments directly in bank accounts in the coming weeks even as he warned farmers to remain vigilant about the alleged rumour mills of the opposition parties. He also slammed, without taking names, some states trying to sabotage the ambitious scheme for political reasons and warned against attracting the wrath of people in coming polls.
With the farmers’ outreach through the scheme, the ruling BJP subtly laid out its template for the coming Lok Sabha polls, replacing the development agenda of 2014 with the farm narrative. This comes at a time when opposition Congress has been harping on farm loan waivers, especially after the Grand Old Party tasted success in recent assembly polls in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
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