New Delhi: Industry body Ficci on Saturday hailed the Centre's decision to extend benefits under PM-KISAN scheme to all farmers, saying Indian agriculture is yet to realise its full potential.
The government on Friday decided to extend the PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country costing Rs 87,000 crore a year and also announced over Rs 10,000 crore pension scheme for five crore farmers, thereby fulfilling the BJP's Lok Sabha elections promise.
The industry body also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a new pension scheme for five crore farmers as one of the first decisions of his new administration.
With agriculture as top priority, Ficci has been advocating the extension of PM- KISAN to all farmers in its 100 days agenda to government.
The government had announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) in the interim Budget to provide Rs 6,000 per year to about 12.5 crore small farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.
The revised scheme will now cover 2 crore more farmers increasing the coverage to around 14.5 crore beneficiaries.
Ficci also said that Indian agriculture is yet to realise its full potential and welcomed the government's resolve to address challenges in the sector in a comprehensive manner.
Direct income transfer is recognised as one of the most effective ways of targeting support to the farm sector, it said.
The body supports a gradual shift from loosely targeted input subsidies to direct benefits transfer to enable farmers to make choices in expenditure based on local priorities and exigencies.
"We urge the Prime Minister to follow up this excellent decision with further reform measures in a time bound manner to kick start a virtuous cycle of growth and value addition in the agriculture sector," Ficci President Sandip Somany said.