Will PM-KISAN share Ayushman Bharat’s fate in Odisha?

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Pradhan Mantri Klsan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) could be one of the biggest announcements made by the Center yet, but doubts are being raised whether farmers of Odisha will get any benefits of scheme or will it suffer the same fate as the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

The Centre is leaving no stone unturned, while pursuing the State governments in its attempt to ensure last mile-implementation of its schemes. Not only did the Union Government apprise all the Chief Secretaries in this regard on the day of the budget presentation itself, but also on February 6, Union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh had also urged Chief Ministers of all states to take action in the matter. And today the State Governments have been given a deadline of February 25 to initiate the process of identification of beneficiaries and uploading relevant data for direct transfer of benefits to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

As per national media reports, both Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal have sought three months’ time to implement the scheme. Questions have also been raised as to whether the Odisha government which has already begun implementation of its own cash benefit transfer scheme KALIA, will share the database of beneficiaries with the Centre in due time or will the scheme suffer the same fate as that of the Ayushman Bharat.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Odisha government should implement the welfare scheme in an effective manner without any drama.

Union PNG Minister Pradhan said, “If the State government is really concerned about the welfare of the farmers, then I urge it to cooperate for effective implementation of the PM-KISAN. They should stop drama and lend a hand in making this successful.”

“Without consulting the state governments, the Centre announced PM-KISAN scheme as a last gasp measure which is why three states have already gone on the back foot. But Odisha government has always kept an optimistic view on the issue and discussions are underway,” said Odisha Finance Minister, Sashi Bhusan Behera.

While criticizing both the Centre and the State governments for trying to woo the farmers to take mileage during elections, Congress leader Tara Bahinipati said both should hold dialogues for implementation of PM-KISAN scheme.

Under the scheme, which is completely funded by the Centre, Rs 6,000 per annum will be provided to all small and marginal farmers across the country having cultivable land holding of up to 2 hectares. People who have registered land records under their name by February 1, 2019 will be deemed as beneficiaries. The State governments will prepare a database of beneficiaries by using Aadhar and bank accounts and a list of eligible beneficiaries will be displayed at each and every panchayat office.  The monetary assistance will be provided in three installments with effect from December 1, 2018. The first installment of Rs 2,000 will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the farmers by March this year.

“If a farmer gets Rs 500 a month as assistance, it will not only help him in buying farming equipment but also assist in meeting the educational requirements of children,” said a farmer Kalucharan Acharya.