The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) recently released a report advocating for revisions in market restrictive policies and increased financial support for Indian farmers. The report specifically proposed raising the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme installment limit from the current ₹6,000 to ₹10,000 per family annually. According to ICRIER, inflation has eroded the initial ₹6,000, making an increase necessary, especially considering the losses incurred by farmers due to restrictive marketing policies.
Ashok Gulati, a professor at ICRIER and one of the authors of the report, highlighted that the majority of PM-KISAN beneficiaries are small landholders with less than 2 hectares of land. He emphasized the importance of keeping the policy simple and accessible for all farmers.
The PM-KISAN scheme, designed to provide income support to land-holding farmer families, is entirely funded by the government. Recent efforts to clean up the scheme’s database resulted in substantial savings of ₹10,000 crore. This surplus raises the possibility of extending the scheme to include landless farmers like sharecroppers and tenant farmers, potentially increasing its reach and impact.
It’s crucial to note that while these savings create room for higher installments, there has been no official proposal from the government regarding changes to the scheme. Any such proposal is expected to come from the agriculture ministry. The 15th installment of the PM-KISAN scheme is anticipated to be released between November and December 2023, although no official announcement has been made. The 14th installment, distributed on July 27, 2023, benefited around 85 million farmer beneficiaries, pushing the total transferred amount under the scheme beyond Rs. 2.59 lakh crore.