NEW DELHI: The government’s ambitious Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) has run into the model code of conduct, with the Election Commission refusing the permission to enroll fresh names of farmers under the scheme.
“There is some roadblock for the PM KISAN scheme. In fact, the Election Commission had said that disbursement would be done to only those farmers whose names are already enrolled for the scheme. There would be no fresh enrollment as that would be against the model code of conduct,” a senior official from the Ministry of Finance told TNIE.
This means that of the total Rs 20,000 crore, only Rs 5,500 crore can be disbursed and the rest Rs 14,500 crore will remain unspent.“Going by the EC mandate will result in spending of just Rs 5,500 crore,” the official said.
In the interim Budget 2019-20, the central government had announced the PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year will be given in three instalments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to two hectares.
On February 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, by transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers.
At the launch event in Gorakhpur, the prime minister had said the first instalment of money under the scheme has been deposited in accounts of 1.01 crore farmers and those who didn’t get it would get it in due course.
According to an official from the Election Commission, the scheme will be put on hold till elections are over. “The scheme included the direct transfer of cash. Adding fresh beneficiaries could be perceived as swaying voters. So the scheme would be put on hold till the elections are over and it makes sense. We have also stopped some state loan waiver schemes also,” confirmed an EC official.