PM Modi releases Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under PM-KISAN scheme

Launches Rs 1 lakh-crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

New Delhi, August 9

Asserting that the government’s agri-reforms are focused on empowering small farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a financing facility of Rs 1 lakh-crore under the Agri-Infra Fund that will help create post harvest infrastructure in villages and generate jobs.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister transferred Rs 17,000 crore directly into the bank accounts of 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme.

Modi also said that the country does not face problems in farm production but in post-harvest losses and therefore efforts are being made to strengthen post harvest infrastructure facilities and ensure better income for farmers.

Modi launched the fund through a video conference on the auspicious occasion of Balram Jayanthi, a day when farmers worship plough. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and farmers from some states also participated in the video conference.

“On this auspicious occasion, a special fund of Rs 1 lakh-crore has been launched to create agriculture-related infrastructure facilities in the country.

“This will help in creating better storage facilities and modern cold storage chains in villages. Many employment opportunities will get created in villages,” Modi said after the launch.

The Prime Minister reiterated that India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain, and food processing, and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods.

He also mentioned that this scheme provides a good opportunity for start-ups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.

Modi also interacted with farmers from Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh who are among the initial beneficiaires of the credit facility under this new fund through Primary Agricultural Credit Societies for creating post harvest facilities.

Under the Agri-Infra Fund, about Rs 1 lakh-crore will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions as loans to Primary Agri Credit Societies (PACS), farmer groups, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups and agri-tech players.

Already, 11 of the 12 public sector banks have signed initial agreements with the Agriculture Ministry.

Under the fund, about 3 per cent interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to the beneficiaries to increase the viability of the projects.

Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with a sanction of Rs 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs 30,000 crore each in the next three financial years.

PM releases Rs 17,000 cr to 8.5 cr farmers      

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister transferred Rs 17,000 crore directly into the bank accounts of 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme.

He said the scheme has been successful in its objective to provide financial support to farmers without any involvement of middlemen.

The Centre provides Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme that was launched in December 2018.

The Prime Minister “released the 6th installment under the PM-KISAN scheme of Rs 17,000 crore to nearly 8.5 crore farmers. The cash benefit was transferred directly to their Aadhaar verified bank accounts with the press of a button”, an official statement said.

The amount was transferred to farmers at a function organised through video conference to launch financial facility of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

“No middlemen, no commisison. The amount was transferred directly to farmers,” Modi said.

The scheme has been successful in its objective to provide direct help to farmers and when needed, he added.

Modi said the government has transferred Rs 75,000 crore to farmers under this scheme in the last one-and-a-half years, of which Rs 22,000 crore was remitted during the lockdown period.

The PM-KISAN scheme was launched to provide income support by way of a cash benefit to all landholding farmers (subject to certain exclusion criteria) to enable them to fulfill their agricultural requirements and support their families.

With this transfer, the scheme has provided over Rs 90,000 crore in the hands of more than 10 crore farmers since its launch on December 2018, the statement said. PTI

 

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