PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana Opens For Registration

  • On 8th August, 2019, the government opened registration for the PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY) scheme.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.

PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

  • This scheme which was announced in the Union Budget 2019-20 comprises of provision of a monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 to eligible farmers on attaining the age of 60.
  • The farmers are supposed to contribute Rs.55 to Rs.200 on a monthly basis, basis their age of entry in the Pension Fund till up to the age of 60 years.
  • The Scheme is effective from the 9th August, 2019.
  • The scheme is planned to be implemented across the nation and will also include Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • It aims to help farmers live a healthy and happy life after they reach their old age.

Eligibility:

  • Farmers who hold up to 2 hectare farm land are eligible for the scheme. This pension scheme is on voluntary and contribution-based for farmers in the age group of 18 to 40 years.

 Key Features:

  • Farmers, who have attained 18 years, will have to contribute Rs. 55 per month while the Centre will also contribute a similar amount. Farmers aged 29 years will have to contribute Rs. 100 per month farmers aged 40 will have to contribute Rs. 200 per month.
  • 30 has to be paid by farmers to common service centre for enrolment in the scheme.
  • Special Provisions for Spouse:

    • A separate pension of Rs 3,000 upon making separate contribution to the fund is also made available to the spouse of the farmer enrolled.
    • The spouse may continue with the scheme, in case of death of the enrolled farmer before the retirement date.
    • If the spouse does not wish to contribute, the total contribution made by the farmer along with interest will be paid to the spouse.
    • The total contribution along with interest will be paid to the nominee, in case of absence of any spouse.
    • The spouse will is eligible to receive 50 per cent of the pension as family pension, in case the farmer dies after the retirement date.
    • In case of death of both the farmer and spouse, the accumulated corpus will be credited back to the pension fund.
  • Voluntary Exit Option:

    • The beneficiaries may opt to exit the scheme after a minimum period of five years of regular contributions.
    • The entire contribution will be returned by pension fund manager LIC with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates on exit.
  • The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, will have the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that Scheme directly.

Significance of the Scheme:

  • Ensuring Social Security:Farming requires hard work in fields which becomes difficult at an advanced age. Despite working hard, the farmer does not earn enough.Pm-KMY will help to ensure better income, providing social security to farmer’s familyacross the country.
  • Doubling Farmer’s Income: It is one of the several schemes introduced by the government which aims to the double the income of the farmers by 2022.

Challenges Faced by Small farmers

 Small Land Holdings:

  • Nearly 80% of the farming families hold less than 2 acres of land. As land holdings are small, more people invariably work on the farms in the rural areas and coupled with the obsolete technology, farm incomes come down.
  • In addition, many land owners do not disclose their land record due to fear of losing it. It results in underutilization of land and loss of agricultural output.

 Lack of Education:

  • Illiteracy, lack of awareness about recent developments in the field of agriculturaland poor socio-economic background of the farmers is some of the fundamental reasons for continuously decreasing agricultural productivity.
  • The NSS farmers’ Survey clearly shows that awareness about biofertilizers, minimum support prices and WTO is associated with education levels which are lower for marginal and small farmers.

Finance and Indebtedness:

  • Agriculture like all other industries requires capital too. As the farmers don’t get access to institutional credit, they move towards informal moneylenders who demand exorbitant interest rate and farmers gets trapped in huge debt, ultimately forcing him to end his life. This is also one of the main reasons behind farmer’s suicide in India.

Lack of Modernised Infrastructure:

  • India lacks modernized infrastructure for promoting the agriculture sector. Rudimentary policies and old fashioned equipment’s and practices used by farmers in India are not sustainable, resulting in low yield for many agricultural commodities.
  • Low level investment coupled with the use of obsolete technologies results in declined production, inefficiency and higher costs that in turn becomes one of the causes for food inflation.

Monsoon Dependency and Inadequate Irrigational Facilities:

  • A major portion of the country’s farmers are completely dependent on Monsoon rains as they’re not equipped with modern irrigation facilities.
  • Weak or failure of monsoon result in crop giving rise to various rural distress such as low productivity, low market price, farmer’s suicide, etc.

 Impact of Climate Change:

  • Climate change is a major challenge for agriculture, food security and rural livelihoods for millions of people with more adverse impact on small holding farmers.
  • It is expected to have adverse impact on the living conditions of farmers, who are already vulnerable and food insecure.

Way Forward:

  • Agriculture sector is considered the back bone of the Indian economic system. Besides providing employment opportunities to millions of Indians, it delivers necessary inputs for high industrial growth.
  • Therefore, much attention is required in the form of realistic policy measures such as timely availability of formal credit and other inputs to the farmers, creating the awareness about policies and programs of the government meant for educating the farmers through different media platforms is the need of hour in order to improve the socio economic conditions of farmers across the country.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, 8th August, 2019