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Read the fine print: No cash transfer for farmers if....

By Sanjeeb Mukherjee
February 07, 2019 11:22 IST
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Families with tax-paying members, government employees, professionals, among those who have been exempted from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme. 

Photograph: Amit Dave / Reuters

Families of farmers who have one or more members paying taxes or are a government employee will be ineligible for benefit under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme. 

Families with at least one member drawing a monthly pension of Rs 10,000 will be ineligible, according to the guidelines issued to the states by the Centre on Wednesday. Families who have professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants or architects will be left out too. 

Announced in the Interim Budget, the scheme is supposed to provide an additional Rs 6,000 per annum income support to small and marginal farmers. 


A small or marginal farmer family is defined as "a family comprising husband, wife, and minor children, who collectively own cultivable land up to 2 hectare according to the land records of the state or Union territory". 

Families of former members of Parliament or legislative assemblies or even chairpersons of district panchayats would also be ineligible for benefit. 

Some government employees, however, have been exempted from exclusion, such as those among the multitasking staff or classified in Class IV or Group "D" categories. 

The guidelines also said state governments can allow self-declaration of the beneficiary for exclusion, but the entire income-support transferred to him could be recovered and penal action initiated if the declaration is incorrect. 

Land owned by temples or other institutions won't form part of the scheme. The guidelines also state if the spouse of a farmer falls within the exclusion criteria, he won't be considered eligible for the benefit. 

The first tranche is expected to be transferred before March 31, 2019. 

According to the Interim Budget, a sum of Rs 75,000 crore has been allocated for the scheme in financial year 2020 (FY20). Further, Rs 20,000 crore has been allocated in the revised estimates of FY19. 

The guidelines also state that cases, where transfer of ownership of cultivable land has happened due to any reason -- purchase, succession, will, gift, etc -- between December 1, 2018, and January 31, 2019, shall be eligible for benefits under the scheme. 

But, the first installment during the financial year (2018-19) shall be the proportionate amount from date of transfer till March 31, 2019, with respect to the four months' period, the guidelines said.

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Sanjeeb Mukherjee in New Delhi
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