DEHRADUN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious pension scheme titled 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Mandhan Yojana' is lagging behind as till date only about 1700 farmers have registered for the scheme in Uttarakhand. The hill state has more than 9 lakh farmers.
Subodh Uniyal, state agriculture minister said, "An awareness campaign will be conducted to appraise our farmers about benefits of the scheme. The scheme is to support our farmers at the age of retirement."
The scheme was introduced in August 2019 by the center to support farmers at the time they reach 60 years of age. Farmers between 18-40 years of age are eligible to sign up for the scheme.
Till date only 1688 farmer's have subscribed from all 13 districts of the hill state. The highest number of farmers have opted for the scheme from Udham Singh Nagar (287), followed by Pauri (235), Haridwar (231), Dehradun (217), Uttarkashi (127), Nainital (111), Champawat (105), Chamoli (84), Tehri and Almora 70 each, Rudraprayag (63), Pithoragarh (49) and Bageshwar (39).
Outlining the reasons behind the abysmal rate of subscription by the farmers, Ganesh Upadhyay, an activist on whose public interest litigation, Uttarakhand high court-ordered reforms in farming sector said, "Most of the farmers between the age bracket of 18-40 do not have any farming lands on their name but their father's. So, a majority of the farmers from the state are ineligible while many are unaware of the benefits of the scheme."
Under this scheme, the farmers will get a pension of Rs 3000 per month. Subsidy of 50% is also being provided by the center on the monthly premium of Rs 110-400.
On April 26, 2018, the HC taking serious note of farmer suicides in Uttarakhand had issued a series of directions to the state government including formulating a scheme for payment of compensation and pension to the families of farmers who have committed suicide.
The HC had also ordered the state government to form a “State Farmers Commission, as per Section 3 of the Uttarakhand State Farmers Commission Act” within three months of time period.