‘Rs 6,000 annually for farmers is too little’

Sunil Pradhan
Saturday, 2 February 2019

“Rs 6,000 a year comes to Rs 500 a month. A farmer has to manage seeds, fertilisers, labour cost and several other costs and Rs 500 would hardly matter to a farmer. In turn, the government should have only focused on ways to provide the best price to farmers for their produce,” added Rayte.

PUNE: Farming experts on Friday said that the government’s announcement of providing Rs 6,000 annually to small and marginal farmers, who own less than two acres of land, as too little. Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), the government announced that the money will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each. According to the finance minister, more than 12 crore households across the country will benefit from this scheme that will be applicable from December 2018. 

On the scheme, Pandurang Rayte of Pune District Farmers’ Organisation said that the amount will be of very less use to the farmers. “Rs 6,000 a year comes to Rs 500 a month. A farmer has to manage seeds, fertilisers, labour cost and several other costs and Rs 500 would hardly matter to a farmer. In turn, the government should have only focused on ways to provide the best price to farmers for their produce,” added Rayte.

Speaking on the issue, Geetaram Kadam who runs an NGO and helps farmers said, “I wonder how the government arrived at the figure of Rs 500 a month. As per my observation, for a farmer to support his family, he would at least need Rs 5,000 a month. If farmers are provided with basic infrastructure, then they can easily earn a handsome amount to support themselves,” added Kadam.

Speaking about the scheme, Ashok Dhawale, leader of All India Kisan Sabha said that Rs 16 per day to farmers can only get them tea for the day. “Farmers’ community will not fall prey to such schemes. The farming community will feel insulted by such schemes as the issue of FRP is yet to be solved by the government,” added Dhawale.

Speaking on the setting up of ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’ to upscale sustainable genetic upgradation of cow resources and to enhance production and productivity of cows, an official from Animal Husbandry Department said, “This is indeed required as the farming community is distressed due to lower incomes from farm produce. As the government has assured doubling the income of farmers, they will have to focus on increasing productivity of animals so that farmers’ income from other sources is improved.”

Speaking on benefits of PM-KISAN Scheme, Mandar Agashe, Founder and Vice Chairman, Sarvatra Technologies said that as 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are likely to benefit from the scheme, it will encourage farmers to open bank accounts who do not have one. “Many Kisan Credit Card (KCC) holder who have not been using their account will activate their debit cards for taking benefits of the programme. In addition to this, the government has announced to extend the facility of KCC scheme to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers. They will also benefit with 2 per cent interest subsidy for availing loans through KCC and additional three per cent subsidy for timely payment of loans,” said Agashe.

“This means more KCC accounts will be opened, giving a required boost to digital transactions in rural areas. KCC holders will start using their debit cards for doing transactions at ATMs and micro ATMs along with making payments through PoS machines. Sarvatra Technologies, which provides digital solutions to banks and payment companies, is also one of the lead players in issuing KCCs through a large number of co-operative banks in India,” Agashe added.

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