Release funds to pay arrears to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme: Mamata Banerjee to PM Modi
Kolkata, May 06: A day after writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking free COVID-19 vaccination for all, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday again shot a letter to him reminding him of his assurances made during election campaigns on releasing arrears of Rs 18,000 to farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme.
Despite assurances by the prime minister, no fund has been received by either the state government or the farmers, Banerjee said in the letter.
"I will like to further impress that during your recent visits to the state you gave repeated assurances on releasing the arrear amount to Rs 18,000 to each farmer but till date no fund has been received by the state government or the farmers. I will request you to kindly advise the concerned ministry to release due fund(s) to the eligible farmers and share the database of the 21.79 lakh farmers," the letter read.
In its election manifesto, the BJP has promised to provide Rs 18,000 to 75 lakh farmers of the state under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme. Farmers get Rs 6,000 a year in three equal instalments under it.
Banerjee also reminded him of the letters written to the Centre earlier by the state government on providing the farmers of West Bengal with the benefits of the central scheme.
"Several communications were also made from the state agriculture department. However, no concrete response has yet been received from the Ministry on this," she wrote in the letter, adding that state nodal agency and state nodal officer were appointed and two bank accounts were opened for the purpose.
"Out of the 21.79 lakh farmers who had registered for the scheme as per the letter of the union agriculture minister sent last November, 14.91 lakh data have been updated in portal, which were duly verified and of which 9.84 lakh data are ready for PFMS," she said. PFMS (Public Financial Management System) is a platform for e-payment of subsidy under Direct Benefit Transfer.
In the letter, Banerjee said that the state government, under the Krishak Bandhu scheme, has already disbursed Rs 1,498 crore to 57.67 lakh eligible farmers and Rs 242 crore to families of deceased farmers till February. Comparing the income support schemes of the Centre and the state, Banerjee claimed that PM-Kisan has excluded many people associated with agriculture.
"The PM-Kisan has long exclusion list comprising of Bargadar/sharecroppers, persons giving self-declaration, serving/retired employees, Income Tax payers etc. Moreover, under the Krishak Bandhu scheme, beneficiaries get death benefit assistance of Rs two lakh for death below 60 years of age," she wrote.
This is the second letter Banerjee sent to Modi in two days after taking oath as the chief minister for the third time in a row on Wednesday.