The Centre has rejected Andhra Pradesh government's proposal to release the payment under PM-KISAN scheme as a lumpsum amount instead of installments, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament on Tuesday.
Under PM-KISAN, the central government provides a payment of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 to 14.5 crore farmers across the country.
In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Tomar said the Andhra Pradesh government under its Rythu Bharosa scheme proposed to give Rs 12,500 per year to each farmer family inclusive of a benefit of Rs 6,000 given under PM-KISAN. The state government scheme also aimed to cover the tenant farmers.
"State government had requested to release the payments under PM-KISAN scheme as a lumpsum amount instead of payments in installments. The request of Government of Andhra Pradesh was not accepted...," he said.
The state's proposal was "not accepted" because PM-KISAN was meant to provide income support to all land holding farmers' families in the country, subject to certain exclusions.
An amount of Rs 2,000 was paid in three equal installments to enable farmers take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs so as to protect them from falling in the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in farming activities, he added.
The eligibility of farmers to join PM-KISAN is determined by the respective state governments on the basis of Operational Guidelines of the Scheme.
As per the 2015-16 agriculture census, there are about 83.90 lakh landholdings in Andhra Pradesh. So far, 54.45 lakh farmers have registered under PM-KISAN, the Union Minister said in a separate reply.
To those registered between December 2018 and March 31, 2019 in Andhra Pradesh, the centre has paid the first installment to 36.40 lakh beneficiaries, second installment to 34.11 lakh beneficiaries, third installment to 33.78 lakh beneficiaries and fourth installment to 31.35 lakh beneficiaries, he added.
To those registered between April and July 2019 in the state, the centre has released first installment to 7.92 lakh beneficiaries, second installment to 7.64 lakh beneficiaries and third installment to 7.35 lakh beneficiaries.
To those registered between August and November 2019, the centre has released the first and second installment to only one beneficiary but to those registered between December 2019 and March 2020, the centre has paid the first installment to 6.84 lakh beneficiaries of Andhra Pradesh, the minister added.
Sharing all India figures, Tomar said a total of 9.60 crore farmer families across India have been successfully registered under PM-KISAN as on February 6. Of this, 8.44 crore beneficiaries have received benefits.
Against the budgetary allocation of Rs 75,000 crore for this fiscal, funds amounting to Rs 44,516.7 crore have been transferred in the bank accounts of beneficiaries across the country, he added.
Tomar said PM-KISAN is a continuous and ongoing scheme in which the financial benefits are transferred to the bank accounts of the identified beneficiaries as and when their correct and verified data is uploaded by the concerned states on PM-Kisan web-portal.
The data of beneficiaries so uploaded by the concerned states/union territories undergoes a multi-level verification and validation by various agencies concerned before making payment to the beneficiaries. Hence, merely registration on the portal does not ensure benefit transfer to the beneficiaries, he said.
From December 2019 onwards, Aadhaar authentication of beneficiaries data is also made mandatory. In case, any mismatch of provided details are noticed by the above mentioned agencies, details related to beneficiaries are required to be corrected or amended by the concerned states, he added.
To a query if the government has a mechanism to check whether the scheme has brought changes in lives of farmers, the minister said the scheme was launched on December 2, 2019 and the same is in "nascent state."
"As such, no formal study of the scheme has been done yet," he said, adding agriculture is a state subject and the prime responsibility of development of agriculture rests with states and the Centre through its various schemes supplements their efforts.