When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the farmers’ income support scheme (or PM-KISAN) ahead of Lok Sabha polls from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, it was hailed as a "game changer" by the mainstream media and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). After a landslide victory in May, the central government immediately announced that the second and third instalment of scheme would be extended to all farmers. However, even after 100 days of the Modi 2.0 government, a majority of beneficiaries in UP are yet to receive the same.
While the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath's has claimed it to be the best state in terms of money transfer to the farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, the ground reality is that the government has not paid the third instalment of Rs 2,000 to even a single farmer. Furthermore, more than 30% of the total beneficiaries have also not yet received the second instalment.
WHAT OFFICIAL DATA SUGGESTS
According to the scheme’s official website, there are a total of 1,71,25,717 beneficiaries across Uttar Pradesh. A total of 1.58 crore (1,58,27,846) beneficiaries have received the first instalment and 1.08 crore (1,08,48,667) have received the second instalment, while only 39.11 lakh (39,11,809) beneficiaries have received the third instalment of payment.
Also read: PM-KISAN, The Farmers’ Income Support Scheme, is Floundering
According to data provided by the initiative’s official website, it shows a sharp dip in the total number of beneficiaries who received the second and third instalment of payments. As per this, a total of 12.97 lakh (12,97,871) beneficiaries did not receive the first instalment. However, as far as the second instalment is concerned, the number of beneficiaries came down by 62.77 lakh (62,77,051) and the disbursal of the third instalment is still underway. So far in UP itself, over 1.32 crore (1,32,13,910) beneficiaries have not received the payment.
Speaking to NewsClick over phone, state agriculture minister Surya Pratap Shahi said, "Almost all the beneficiaries have been paid the first instalment according to the data provided to the government. Only a few were left as the financial year 2018-19 was over on March 31. The delay is due to the Model Code of Conduct was imposed ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. We are releasing the payment according to the data received by the agriculture department."
On being asked why the state is far behind in terms of payment compared to other states, he said, "It will be unfair to compare Uttar Pradesh with other states as our state is India's largest state. Another reason is that we are not getting data as it is very difficult to collect. Collecting data is difficult and verifying it is even more difficult. The remaining amount will be transferred very soon to the farmers."
WHAT IS THE PM-KISAN SCHEME?
PM Modi announced the scheme ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, on February 23, 2019, promising te eligible farmers a direct transfer of Rs 6,000 every year in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
The three tranches were to be received between December 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019; April 1, 2019, and July 31, 2019; and August 1, 2019, and November 30 2019.
‘LEAVE 2nd & 3rd INSTALLMENT, NOT Even RECEIVED 1st’
While both central and state governments are claiming that payment of the first and second instalments have been received by almost all beneficiaries, the truth is something different. NewsClick spoke to some farmers who have not received even the first instalment despite fulfilling the government criteria.
Rakesh Singh, a registered farmer of Adityanath's home turf Gorakhpur and who owns 1 hectare land, told NewsClick, "I have not received a single penny under this scheme. In my village (Bansgaon), around 30% farmers have not received the first instalment, leave the second and third instalment. During the registration, the concerned officer used to behave politely but ever since Modi came to power the second time, they don't entertain farmers and when we visit the block agriculture unit, they speak in a very arrogant tone.”
Also read: PM-KISAN: Why Farmers Are Unhappy With Rs 2,000
"5 din daud bhaag ke to paper work kiya lekin 1 rupya aaj tak nahi aaya. (I got the paper work done after running from pillar to post but have not received a single rupee of the first instalment.) I don't have any idea where to go now and whom to approach for the payment. Both government and concerned officers are making fools out of the poor farmers, " said Lal chand, who owns 55 dismil and hails from Bansgaon in Gorakhpur district.
A similar situation can be seen in Western Uttar Pradesh. Rajvir Singh Mundet, a Shamli-based social worker and state president of Bharatiya Kisan Mazdoor Sanyukt Union, told NewsClick, "I am the owner of 10 acres of land but have not received any money. This government is releasing less payment and is doing photo-ops to make fool people. In Shamli and Meerut districts, only 5% farmers have received the first instalment.”