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3rd January 2024 (10 Topics)

“Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra” Boosts Beneficiary Numbers

Context

With a significant decline in the number of PM-Kisan beneficiaries, the government launches a special drive under the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra to add 34 lakh farmers back into the scheme.

Background

  • PM-Kisan, initiated on February 24, 2019, provides eligible farmer families with Rs 6,000 annually in three equal installments through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
  • The number of beneficiaries, which peaked at 10.47 crore in April-July 2022, witnessed a decline to 8.12 crore by the latest payment round in November 2023.

Need for the Special Drive:

The launch of Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra on November 15, six months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, seeks to address the decreasing numbers of PM-Kisan beneficiaries.

Efforts are made to cover all intended beneficiaries under various government flagship schemes.

Inclusion of 34 Lakh Farmers:

  • Under the saturation drive, 34 lakh farmers are added to the PM-Kisan beneficiary list.
  • Uttar Pradesh leads with 8.50 lakh additions, followed by Rajasthan (2.39 lakh), Manipur (2.27 lakh), Jharkhand (2.2 lakh), and Maharashtra (1.89 lakh).
  • This inclusion ensures eligibility for the next PM-Kisan installment before the end of the 2023-24 financial year.

Expected Impact by January 2024:

The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare anticipates that the total number of farmer beneficiaries will surpass 8.75 crore by January 2024, the conclusion of the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra.

Addressing Decline and Disbursement Challenges:

  • The decline in PM-Kisan beneficiaries over the past financial year is acknowledged, and efforts are made to address the challenges.
  • The annual disbursement of funds, which peaked at Rs 67,121 crore in 2021-22, dropped to Rs 58,258 crore in 2022-23.
  • The current financial year, till November 22, has seen a disbursement of Rs 38,660 crore.
  • A decline in funds was attributed to the introduction of mandatory land seeding and Aadhaar linking.

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