PM-Kisan scheme extension likely to benefit over 8 lakh large farmers: Report

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The extension of the PM-Kisan assured income support scheme could benefit over eight lakh large landholders having a landholding size of nearly 25 acres (10 hectares) and more, according to a report in The Times of India.

While such large landholders account for only 0.6 percent of the total farmers in the country, they are high in numbers in some states such as Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan, the report adds.

About 5.3 percent of the total farmers in Punjab are large landowners. In Rajasthan and Haryana, the number is 4.7 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.

In other states, such large landholding farmers account for under 1 percent.

The report suggest that the figures mentioned in the 2015-16 Agriculture Census are being used by the Centre as the base data to implement this extension to the PM-Kisan scheme.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The extension of the scheme was announced on May 31 when the two-hectare cap was removed. This made all 14.5 crore farmers eligible for the scheme benefit.

Moneycontrol was the first to report that a decision related to the scheme would be the top priority during the first Cabinet meeting of the new government.

Under the scheme, announced in February during the Interim Budget, farmers owing up to two hectares of land were previously receiving Rs 6,000 per annum directly into their bank accounts in three equal instalments.

The scheme, funded entirely by the Centre, kicked in retrospectively from December 2018. As per official data, 3.11 crore small farmers have already received the first tranche of Rs 2,000 each under the PM-Kisan scheme, and 2.75 crore peasants have got the second instalment as well.

In its manifesto released ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) vowed a raft of proposals for the agriculture sector. The pointed attention to raising income of farmers, an important electoral constituency, was an expected move.