Daily News 📰 Analysis Economics Prelims cum Mains

42% of beneficiaries of PM-Kisan from OBCs, 12% from SCs

In News:

  • Data on PM-Kisan beneficiaries till September 2020 shows that farmers belonging to OBCs constitute the largest chunk of beneficiaries at 41.5%, while SC beneficiaries were 11.9%.

About: Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

  • In a bid to reduce farmer’s distress, the government, in the Interim Budget 2019, has introduced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), an annual income support scheme for farmers.
  • It is a direct cash transfer scheme providing Rs. 6,000 per annum, in three equal installments of Rs. 2,000 each.
  • It is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India.
  • It was operationalized from December, 2018.

Aims:

  • Augment income of the most vulnerable farmers
  • Help meet their emergent needs especially before the harvest season, for procuring seeds, fertitlizers, equipment etc.
  • Help reduce agricultural indebtedness
  • Enhance rural consumption

Beneficiaries:

  • PM-KISAN started off as a structured income support scheme for small and marginal farmer families (about 86 per cent or 12.5 crore farmers with cultivable landholding up to 2 hectares).
  • Later, the government expanded the coverage to all farmers (with some exclusions), which means around 14.5 crore farmers will get the benefit.
  • State Government and UT administration will identify the farmer families which are eligible for support as per scheme guidelines.

Exclusions:

  • There are various Exclusion Categories for the scheme.
  • The following categories of beneificiaries of higher economic status shall not be elligible for benefit under the scheme:
    • All Institutional Land holders
    • Farmer families which belong to one or more of the following categories:
      • Former and present holders of constitutional posts
      • Former and present Ministers/ State Ministers and Legislators
      • Former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporations and Chairpersons of District Panchayats
      • All serving or retired government and public servants
      • All superannuated/retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs.10,000/-or more
      • All Persons who paid Income Tax in last assessment year
      • Professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, and Architects registered with Professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices

News Summary:

  • Data on PM-Kisan beneficiaries till September 2020 shows break up of farmers, who received the payments, by social groups as follows:
    • Other Backward Classes (OBCs) – 41.5%, making them the largest chunk of beneficiaries
      • In terms of numbers, OBC beneficiaries add up to 4.2 crore.
    • Scheduled Caste (SC) beneficiaries – 11.9%
      • SC beneficiaries add up to 1.2 crore.
    • Scheduled Tribe (ST) beneficiaries – 9.9%
      • ST beneficiaries add up to 1 crore.
  • The share of OBC beneficiaries reflects a strong presence as farm owners, though the average size of their lands is likely to be on the smaller scale.
  • Though the percentage share of beneficiaries of SCs (11.9%) is lesser than their presence in the general population (16.6% as of 2011 census), it is a good number as not all of them are farmers.
  • The data was shared in by the Union Ministry of Agriculture in response to an RTI application.

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