With no land documents, farmers unable to avail PM-Kisan scheme

The Meghalaya government has written to the Centre seeking change in criterai for farmers to avail the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme which was made effective in 2018.

The Meghalaya  government has written to the Centre about farmers finding it difficult to avail the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN scheme) as they do not have land documents to prove that they own certain land holdings.

This was informed by Director of Agriculture (Research, Training & Technical Induction) L. Kharkrang at a meeting with the Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) over the scheme which is facing problems of implementation in the state.

The schem, which is fully funded by the government of India, was launched for all farmers to get up to Rs.6,000  per annum as minimum income support in installments. The scheme is designed only for farmers with land holdings. Earlier it was meant for farmers with holdings below 2.5 hectares.

The HNYF’s submission was that the department “failed to understand the land holding system among the tribal communities of our state wherein in most of the cases land are either not recorded or documented or is a joint family with different households.”  With such criteria many farmers are being deprived of benefiting from this scheme.

Kharkrang said that the department had already apprised the Government of India on the matter. They had sought their approval for changes in the criteria to allow the scheme to be opened up to farmers who are farming not on their own recorded lands but on community and clan lands. The approval is awaited, she further said.

“We want every farmer to avail of this scheme. We have apprised the Centre of the kind of land system we have here through the State Government. We have pointed out the existence of lease farming. We have held many discussions already. We awaiting the approval from them,” she said.

“We don’t have land records. We are relying on the agriculture Census taken,” she added.

Kharkrang also said that these available documents were emailed to them after which the districts were asked to approach the traditional heads of the villages such as Nokmas, Dolois and the Rangbah Shnongs.  “Whatever possible is being done to collect the documentation that is required,” she added.

The required document is Citizenship certificate which is basically the EPIC card, Land Holding documents, Aadhar card and bank account details. This April, the Centre relaxed the Aadhar requirement once again till March 2021 which was given to Meghalaya along with some other states.

Kharkrang said that farmers are also being asked to register themselves for the farmers identity cards, a program launched to create data about the farming population in the state. The entire process can be completed in the Common Service Centres (CSC) that’s scattered across the state. The farmers do not have to come to the Agriculture offices.

In April 2020, the total number of farmers in the state who are registered under the PM Kisan scheme is 91,845.

First Published:June 14, 2020, 11:49 a.m.

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