Gorakhpur:  During his tour to Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Gorakhpur and Prayagraj. On Sunday, the PM launched the Rs 75,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme after reaching Gorakhpur around noon. 

The launch of the PM-KISAN scheme was held at the Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) grounds in Gorakhpur, where Modi electronically transferred the first instalment of Rs 2,000 to selected farmers. He also interacted with select beneficiaries of the PM-KISAN scheme through video conference.

Under the PM-KISAN scheme, small and marginal farmer families having a combined land holding or ownership of upto 2 hectares, will be given Rs 6,000 per year, in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each. 

According to the centre, transparency will be ensured by this direct cash transfer scheme and it will also save time for the farmers. In the next two to three days, another one crore farmers are expected to be covered.

“The amount will be transferred directly to the bank account of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). DBT will ensure transparency in the entire process and will save time for the farmers,” the PMO stated.

One of the key features of this scheme is that 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land of up to two hectares are to be given Rs 6,000 in three instalments.

The launch of this scheme demonstrates two things: speedy decision-making and the NDA's unwavering commitment to farmer welfare. "A scheme announced on February 1 has become reality in such a short span. This is the new work culture of New India," Modi said.

The scheme was launched for the betterment of the farmers despite many critics in the Opposition who claimed that its speedy implementation was only due to the upcoming Lok Sabha election and its motive of gaining votes of farmers.  

  • The government's effort is seen to address farm distress caused by lower sales of foodgrain, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and horticulture crops. Through a pattern similar to MGNREGS, the funds will be electronically transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
  • PM-KISAN was introduced unusually, as a retrospective scheme, starting from December 1, 2018.
  • Three former Chief Election Commissioners (CECs) unanimously said that the funds could be given to only those beneficiaries who have been identified and enrolled before the Model Code of Conduct starts.
  • "If the beneficiaries have already been identified before the model code of conduct, they can receive (the payment). No new beneficiaries can be identified after the model code of conduct," said Navin Chawla , who served as the CEC between April 2009 and July 2010.
  • Another former CEC, Nasim Zaidi said, "If beneficiaries have not been identified, then payment cannot be made without permission of the Commission".

During the vote-on-account Budget session on February 1, 2019, interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had announced that this scheme would benefit the income of small and marginal farmers. 

During his three day visit to Uttar Pradesh, PM Modi was to take a holy dip at the Triveni Sangam (the confluence of three Hindu sacred rivers Yamuna, Ganga and mythical Saraswati) in Prayagraj. He will also visit the Kumbh Mela 2019 to participate in the Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar event which is organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.

Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a statement, said, “The Prime Minister will distribute the Swachh Kumbh Swachh Aabhaar awards to Safai Karmacharis (sanitation staff), Police Personnel and Naviks (boatmen). There will also be the digital announcement of Swachh Seva Samman Benefits package.” The PMO further said that Modi will later be addressing the gathering in the holy town.