Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 | Last Update : 12:21 PM IST

Govt takes direct benefit transfer route to farm votes

FINANCIAL CHRONICLE
Published : Jan 4, 2019, 10:31 am IST
Updated : Jan 4, 2019, 10:31 am IST

As part of immediate relief measure, the government will offer Rs 3,000-4,000 per acre to each farmer for every season.

The amount, to be transferred to farmers bank accounts, will vary from state to state.  (Photo: PTI/File)
 The amount, to be transferred to farmers bank accounts, will vary from state to state. (Photo: PTI/File)

New Delhi: The new farm-focussed direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, to be announced by the government soon, may bring some respite to farmers battered by rising debt and falling prices for the farm produce.

As part of immediate relief measure, the government will offer Rs 3,000-4,000 per acre to each farmer for every season. The amount, to be transferred to farmers bank accounts, will vary from state to state.

An interest-free crop loans, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, for every farmer is also on the government’s relief package menu. The cash transfer for irrigation and power cost for running tube can also be worked out.

The prime minister’s office (PMO) in consultation with agriculture and finance ministries as well as Niti Aayog has drawn a road map for the implementation of the farm DBT scheme, following poll losses in three states. According to an agriculture ministry source, the farm-centric initiatives will cost the Centre around Rs 2 lakh crore towards DBT plan only and an additional Rs 30,000 crore will go towards the interest subvention scheme.

As the government coffers are depleted “the Rs 70,000 fertiliser subsidy scheme will be subsumed into the scheme to lower extra load on the Centre,” the source said.

The government has spent around Rs 58,000 crore on the agriculture sector, announced in the last budget by finance minister Arun Jaitely.

On the funding of the proposed pro-farmer schemes, the source said, “As the government is committed to the initiative, we would use various routes to garner funds, including selling some public sector units.”

The central government had set Rs 10 lakh crore agricultural loan disbursal target for 2017-18. Around 75 per cent of this has been disbursed as crop loans, the source said.

“A policy shift from price to income support under the DBT plan is deemed better as it would incentivise farmers and bring in much needed efficiency in use of input. The government has initiated pilot projects in 14 states, where farmers can purchase inputs at subsidised rates from dealers using Aadhaar cards for authentication,” the source remarked.

At the time of purchase of agricultural inputs, details of buyers, including Aadhaar number, quantity and land records, would be captured using a point of sale (PoS) machine. It will also help in plugging pilferage and money will reach to the actual beneficiary, the official said.

Prime minister Narendra Modi in an interview on Tuesday had hinted that he would make farmers distressed-free and empower them with some schemes. “The announcement of loan waivers can be misleading, not a permanent solutions for them,” he said.

The new farm-focussed direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme, to be announced by the government soon, may bring some respite to farmers battered by rising debt and falling prices for the farm produce.

As part of immediate relief measure, the government will offer Rs 3,000-4,000 per acre to each farmer for every season. The amount, to be transferred to farmers bank accounts, will vary from state to state.

An interest-free crop loans, from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, for every farmer is also on the government’s relief package menu. The cash transfer for irrigation and power cost for running tube can also be worked out.

The prime minister’s office (PMO) in consultation with agriculture and finance ministries as well as Niti Ayog has drawn a road map for the implementation of the farm DBT scheme, following poll losses in three states. According to an agriculture ministry source, the farm-centric initiatives will cost the Centre around Rs 2 lakh crore towards DBT plan only and an additional Rs 30,000 crore will go towards the interest subvention scheme.

As the government coffers are depleted “the Rs 70,000 fertiliser subsidy scheme will be subsumed into the scheme to lower extra load on the Centre,” the source said.

The government has spent around Rs 58,000 crore on the agriculture sector, announced in the last budget by finance minister Arun Jaitely.

On the funding of the proposed pro-farmer schemes, the source said, “As the government is committed to the initiative, we would use various routes to garner funds, including selling some public sector units.”

The central government had set Rs 10 lakh crore agricultural loan disbursal target for 2017-18. Around 75 per cent of this has been disbursed as crop loans, the source said.

“A policy shift from price to income support under the DBT plan is deemed better as it would incentivise farmers and bring in much needed efficiency in use of input. The government has initiated pilot projects in 14 states, where farmers can purchase inputs at subsidised rates from dealers using Aadhaar cards for authentication,” the source remarked.

At the time of purchase of agricultural inputs, details of buyers, including Aadhaar number, quantity and land records, would be captured using a point of sale (PoS) machine. It will also help in plugging pilferage and money will reach to the actual beneficiary, the official said.

Prime minister Narendra Modi in an interview on Tuesday had hinted that he would make farmers distressed-free and empower them with some schemes. “The announcement of loan waivers can be misleading, not a permanent solutions for them,” he said.

Tags: direct benefit transfer, farmer, government, niti aayog, crop loan
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi