November 7, 2021 4:00:57 am
The state government has decided to write to the Centre over pending funds under the flagship ‘Kisan Samman Nidhi’ scheme. As part of the income support scheme of the central government, a yearly amount of Rs 6,000 each is transferred directly to the accounts of farmers.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the state agricultural department on Friday. “A total of 42 lakh farmers had applied for benefits under ‘PM Kisan’, but only 21 lakh have had the money wired to their accounts. The remaining 21 lakh farmers are yet to receive the promised funds,” Pradip Majumder, Trinamool Congress MLA and advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Agriculture, said.
It is understood that the state government will soon write to the Union ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, seeking the release of the pending funds.
“We have completed all formalities from our end and all the guidelines have been adhered to. Every year, farmers are to get Rs 6000 each under this scheme. However, lakhs of farmers are yet to get the money. We will take up the matter with the Union agriculture ministry,” a senior officer in the state agricultural department said.
The state agricultural department has also decided to expedite the process disbursing the crop insurance payments and ensure that the benefits reach farmers by this month.
The government has already started the process of settling the insurance claims of farmers who suffered losses due to heavy rainfall over the last few months.
According to sources, the state will pay all premium on crop insurance by November 8, thereby enabling distressed farmers to receive payments covering for their losses. The state government will also start verifying bank accounts of beneficiaries of its ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme whereby farmers owing an acre of agricultural land or more will receive Rs 10,000 yearly, while those owning less than an acre of land will get Rs 4,000.
“We will verify bank accounts of farmers who have signed up to receive funds under ‘Krishak Bandhu’. It so happens sometimes that a farmer has passed away and his next-of-kin hasn’t signed up to receive the money on his behalf. Some accounts are also found to be defunct,” a state official said.
The ‘PM Kisan’ became a talking point and a major bone of contention between the BJP and the Trinamool in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
TMC, BJP spar over petroleum tax
The TMC on Saturday alleged that the BJP was indulging in “cheap politics” over fuel tax, even as the saffron camp said that it “might be forced to organise protests”, if the state government does not slash Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel.
The Centre recently reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively, and many states, including Assam and Uttar Pradesh, cut VAT on the two products. West Bengal, however, hasn’t done the same as yet. PTI
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