New Delhi- Ahead of Diwali, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released the 12th installment of financial benefit worth Rs 16,000 crore to eligible farmers under the flagship PM-KISAN scheme.
With this, the total amount transferred to around 11 crore beneficiaries is expected to cross Rs 2.16 lakh crore.
Under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), eligible farmers are provided with a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each every four months.
The income support is directly transferred to bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
The scheme was launched in February 2019 but is being implemented with effect from December 2018.
The prime minister released the 12th installment at two-day event ‘PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022’ being held at the Pusa campus in the national capital.
Addressing the event, Modi said benefits under PM-KISAN reach the accounts of farmers directly without involving any middleman and commission agents.
“Another installment of Rs 16,000 crore has also been released to crores of farmer families as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi,” he said while expressing happiness that this installment is reaching farmers just before Diwali.
The money reaching them before rabi sowing begins is necessary, he added.
Since the launch of this scheme, more than Rs 2 lakh crore has been transferred directly to beneficiaries under PM-KISAN, Modi said adding that farmers have told him that the scheme has reduced their burden.
PM-KISAN is a central sector scheme with 100 per cent funding from the Centre. State governments and UT administrations identify the farmer families that are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present at the programme.
More than 13,500 farmers from across the country and around 1,500 agri-startups are participating in the event.
Researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders too are attending the event.
PM Launches ‘One Nation One Fertiliser’ Scheme’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched subsidised urea under single brand ‘Bharat’ as part of One Nation, One Fertiliser scheme and inaugurated 600 Kisan Samruddhi Kendras, saying these two reforms will boost availability and ensure quality fertilisers.
Modi also unveiled international weekly fertiliser e-magazine ‘Indian Edge’ at the event PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022 organised jointly by agriculture and fertiliser ministries.
The Centre has started a new scheme – Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Urvarak Pariyojana – One Nation One Fertilizer (ONOF) – under which it is mandatory for companies to market subsidised fertiliser under single brand ‘Bharat’.
After launching the brand for the most consumed and highly subsidised fertiliser urea, the prime minister said branding subsidised fertilisers to ensure quality is a major reform undertaken by the government.
Farmers are in “illusion and confused” about fertiliser brands and are not getting the quality soil nutrients because at one hand retailers are pushing certain brands for want of higher commission and on the other hand companies run advertisement campaigns of their products, he said.
Now, these problems have been resolved under ONOF, he added.
“One brand and one quality of urea will be sold across the nation. This brand would be ‘Bharat.’ Now urea will be available in the brand name of Bharat,” Modi said.
With single branding, the competition among companies that push their brands will get reduced. It will also ensure sufficient supply of fertilisers across the country, he added.
Modi, who also inaugurated 600 ‘PM-Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PM-KSK) at the event, said these will act as one- stop-shop that would provide multiple services to farmers.
PM-KSK will not only supply agri-inputs like seeds, fertilisers and farm implements, but also provide testing facilities for soil, seeds and fertilisers, besides information about government schemes, he said.
At present, fertiliser retail shops in the country are company-managed, cooperative shops or retailed to private dealers. These retail shops will now be converted into PM-KSKs.
Modi said about 3.25 lakh fertiliser retail shops will be converted into PM-KSKs across the country.
Expressing concern over import dependency of fertilisers, the prime minister stressed on the need to be “self-reliant” in the commodity to prevent the impact of global shock on the import bill.
“When there is a global problem, it impacts. First, coronavirus came and we faced it…Then war started from where we buy maximum. For example, be it urea, DAP or other fertilisers, they are getting costlier and impacting our economy,” he said.
Citing an example, he mentioned that the country is buying urea at Rs 75-80 per kg and selling to farmers at Rs 5-6 per kg.
“This has an impact on our exchequer and creates problems in implementing many works,” he said, adding that about Rs 2.5 lakh crore is the spending on fertilisers this year.
Modi said there is a need to work on a mission mode to reduce import of at least food and agriculture items.
Highlighting steps taken in the last eight years to ensure sufficient supply of fertilisers, Modi said there used to be a fertiliser crisis with black marketing rampant prior to 2014 and farmers had to face ‘lathi charge’.
Fertiliser units were shut down for many years and had to depend on imports.
The current government, however, took steps to end black marketing with introduction of neem-coated urea and revival of six closed urea units and promoting liquid nano urea to become self-reliant and reduce import-dependency, he added.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya were also present at the event. More than one crore farmers virtually joined the event. (PTI)