Payouts to farmers from this month itself: Garg

Mr. Goyal has already earmarked Rs. 20,000 crore for disbursal among 12 crore farmers under the scheme in the current financial year. “It has been decided to implement the scheme with effect from December 1, 2018. The allocation of Rs. 20,000 crore, required for the current fiscal, has been made in the Budget. Land record data are available. We have all the information about small and marginal farmers,” Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg told PTI in a post-Budget interview. The government last year released Agriculture Census 2015-16 and most States have moved to electronic record-keeping. Mr. Garg said the Agriculture Department would now relate the holdings to the families which will receive assistance. “They (Agriculture Department) expect to make disbursements of substantial amounts in the month of February itself. That is the expectation and confidence of the (Agri) department,” he said. Supplementaries would be presented in the current session to seek Parliament’s nod for spending an additional Rs. 20,000 crore for the scheme, he said. The ongoing budget session is scheduled to conclude on February 13. The PM-KISAN scheme has been approved by the Cabinet and therefore the administrative department can go ahead with it, Mr. Garg said. He said 12 crore beneficiaries have been identified with the help of Agriculture Census Data 2015-16. “The census has detailed data which is divided into groups — people owning land up to 0.5 hectare, 0.5-1 hectare, 1-2 hectare, 2-4 hectare and beyond and every ‘khesra’ of land in the country has been counted. This is data of operational holdings,” he said. Apart from direct income support to farmers, Mr. Goyal had also announced extended interest subsidy on loans availed for animal husbandry and fishery as well as to those farmers affected by severe natural calamities.

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