ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Income Support Schemes

Evaluation of PM KISAN vis-à-vis State Government Schemes

The PM KISAN scheme provides `6,000 to farmers to procure inputs and other household needs. The scheme is criticised for providing too little support. Features of various income support schemes are compared. Mukhyamantri Krishi Aashirwad, Mukhyamantri Parivar Samman Nidhi and Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation scheme have income redistributive feature across land size class. Schemes like KALIA, MPSN and Rythu Bandhu support tenant and agricultural labourers. In West Bengal, having Krishak Bandhu along with PM KISAN would have greatly helped farmers to absorb risk in farming.

 

The Government of India introduced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme, which provides income support of `6,000 per year to the farmers. The scheme is in operation from 1 December 2018. It has the characteristics of a universal basic income support scheme, at least for farmers, which various researchers and thinkers have been asking for (PTI 2020). The scheme was brought in to provide relief to the farmers who were severely affected by the distress in the farm sector. A number of programmes and schemes were adopted in the past to mitigate the problems of the rural sector. A few of such initiatives are: raising of the minimum support price (MSP), loan waiver scheme, crop insurance, etc. The income support scheme is offered three times in a year and just before the crop seasons, that is, kharif, rabi and summer. The farmers can use the amount to purchase crop inputs like seeds, fertilisers, etc, hire labour for farm activities, and also to meet consumer needs. This would provide liquidity to the farm sector and help in boosting the demand in the rural economy. A number of similar schemes have been formulated by many state governments like Rythu Bandhu scheme, Rythu Bharosa, Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA), etc. The merits of each scheme needs to be evaluated so that the good points could be embraced by all.

A question is often raised that the amount of income support is so small that it would not make much impact. Income support schemes, especially those initiated by state governments, are justified as contributing to the countrys greater goal of doubling farmers income. In that perspective, it is important to assess the proportion of household income this income support constitutes. Further, do these income support schemes contribute to increasing equity or inequity in the economy? The study was therefore undertaken with the following specific objectives: (i) to assess the progress of the PM KISAN scheme, and (ii) to evaluate the income support schemes of different state governments.

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Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

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