After taking oath on 30th June, yesterday was the first day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government.
In the first meeting in new term on of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet on Friday evening, PM Modi made big moves for traders and farmers.
In the interim budget 2019-20, the center had announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme. Hence, in the meeting, the cabinet has decided to extend the PM-KISAN scheme under which government gives poor farmers an annual payout of Rs 6,000 in three installments to every farmer.
Originally the scheme intended to pay, Rs 6,000 to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land of up to two hectares per year in three installments, via bank accounts.
However, now the cabinet has speculated that around 15 crore farmers will get benefited with the scheme. Moreover, the meeting has also cleared the pension scheme for traders. The new move will benefit around three crore retail traders and shopkeepers.
In the earlier version of the scheme, the previous government had an estimated annual expenditure of Rs. 75,000 crore. But in 2019-20, the revised scheme envisages an estimated expenditure of Rs. 87,217.50 crore.
At first, PM-KISAN was introduced as a retrospective scheme, starting from December 1, 2018. Moreover, in February, the first installment was handed over to farmers.
Also, the cabinet approved a new central sector scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana, which is a contributory and voluntary pension scheme for marginal and small farmers across the country.
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, announced after the cabinet meeting,
“The central government will contribute to the pension fund in equal amount as contributed by the farmer.”
“The scheme provides income support to small and marginal landholder farmer families with cultivable land holding up to 2 hectare, across the country, by way of Rs. 6,000 per year. The ongoing scheme aims to cover around 12.5 crore SMF families.”
As against the growth rate of 5 percent in the previous year, the agriculture sector grew at 2.9 percent in FY-19, as per official data released today.
The decision to expand the PM KISAN scheme shows government’s priority accorded to the farm sector even a month before the Union Budget. According to several policy experts, higher spending in rural areas would boost the economy and could also act as a growth driver.