Kolkata, Feb 1 (IANS) With the introduction of direct income support of Rs 6,000 per annum to small farmers in the Union Budget, West Bengal farmers are set to get a double bonanza as the state government has also provided similar kind of sops to them ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
During his budget speech, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme would provide assured income support to the small and marginal farmers.
Under this programme, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs 6,000 per year, he said. The money would be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.
The minister said around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families are expected to benefit from the scheme, which would be made effective from December 1, 2018 and the first instalment for the period up to March 31, 2019 would be paid during this year itself.
“I propose an outlay of Rs 75,000 crore for PM-Kisan for the FY 2019-20. I am also providing Rs 20,000 crore in the revised estimates of FY 2018-19,” he said.
The Mamata Banerjee-led state government had also announced two new schemes for farmers — to give Rs 5,000 per acre annually and another to grant Rs 2 lakh to the family of a cultivator or a farm labourer if he or she dies aged between 18 and 60 years.
“This is just a photocopy of our programme. In the name of farmers they are cheating farmers,” Banerjee said reacting to the Union Budget.