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PM-Kisan Scheme Witnesses 14% Dip in Beneficiaries, Registering 9.21 Crore in 2023-24

PM-Kisan Scheme stands as one of the world's largest Direct Benefit Transfer schemes, reaffirming the government's commitment to supporting farmers across the nation.

Shivam Dwivedi
PM-Kisan Scheme Witnesses 14% Dip in Beneficiaries, Registering 9.21 Crore in 2023-24 (Representational Photo: Pexels)
PM-Kisan Scheme Witnesses 14% Dip in Beneficiaries, Registering 9.21 Crore in 2023-24 (Representational Photo: Pexels)

The Indian Government, in its recent update to the Parliament, revealed a notable decline in the number of beneficiaries enrolled under the Prime Minister's flagship Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, PM-Kisan Scheme. The beneficiary count has decreased by 14%, falling from 10.73 crore in the previous year to 9.21 crore in the fiscal year 2023-24.

Potential Annual Outgo Estimated at Rs 57,000 Crore

If the final count of beneficiaries remains within the projected 9.5 crore, the estimated annual expenditure is anticipated to be approximately Rs 57,000 crore, based on the current disbursal rate of Rs 6,000 per year per farmer. Notably, the government has earmarked Rs 60,000 crore under the PM-Kisan scheme for the financial year 2025.

No Immediate Plan to Increase Payouts, Affirms Agriculture Minister

Responding to queries regarding the possibility of augmenting the financial assistance provided under the PM-Kisan scheme, Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda stated that there are no ongoing considerations to raise the amount from Rs6,000 to Rs 8,000 or Rs 12,000 per annum for farmers. Arjun Munda referenced the findings of the latest agriculture survey, indicating that approximately 86% of the 14 crore land-owning farmers possess less than 5 hectares of land.

Emphasis on Transparent Disbursement and Digital Infrastructure

The Minister emphasized the government's commitment to transparency in the distribution process, citing the implementation of a farmer-centric digital infrastructure that ensures direct benefit transfers without intermediary involvement. He underscored that over Rs 2.81 lakh crore has been disbursed to more than 11 crore farmers across the nation in 15 instalments, showcasing the scheme's extensive reach and impact.

Punjab Leads in Beneficiary Reductions, Followed by Maharashtra and UP

Data presented in the Parliament revealed significant drops in beneficiary numbers across various states. Punjab, a key agriculture-producing state, witnessed the highest decline of 45% in beneficiaries, plummeting from 17.08 lakh to 9.34 lakh. Similarly, Maharashtra experienced an 11.5% reduction, with 92.5 lakh beneficiary farmers compared to the previous year. Uttar Pradesh, the largest state, observed a decrease of 16.5%, with 2.03 crore beneficiaries.

Clarification on Reductions

An official source clarified that the reduction in beneficiaries is not indicative of a loss but rather reflects a meticulous process of identifying and verifying eligible recipients. Measures such as Aadhaar authentication have been instrumental in eliminating ineligible beneficiaries and pruning duplications.

According to the operational guidelines of the PM-Kisan scheme, it is the responsibility of state governments to identify and authenticate eligible beneficiaries. The scheme is designed to offer financial assistance to farmers who own land, aiding them in their agricultural pursuits.

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