THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Though Kerala has snubbed BJP in an emphatic way in the Lok Sabha elections, the Centre has given away around Rs 360 crore to around 10 lakh farmers in Kerala under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme before the elections. As many as 28 lakh farmers from Keala have applied for the scheme, which offers annual income support of Rs 6,000 to small and marginal farmers.
Around 10.49 lakh applications of the farmers were processed before the model code of conduct was enforced in the state and 91 k applications were rejected in the first round of verification. The applications were rejected mainly owing to technical reasons like providing inoperative accounts etc. Now, a formal direction was issued by the Centre making Aadhaar- linked account number mandatory for availing the third instalment of the scheme said a senior officer with the Directorate of Agriculture.
Earlier, the Union Cabinet waived the condition for Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts for the second instalment of the income transfer to small and marginal farmers to avoid any delay in the distribution of cash dole for farmers as Aadhaar seeding of bank accounts needed biometric authentication. The remaining field level verification of the nearly 18 lakh farmer applications is underway. Once the verification is over, the third instalment will be transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries, but it will be Aadhaar-based payment, he said.
The scheme envisages providing a cash dole of `6,000 to over 120 million farmers in the country in three instalments directly to their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, a condition set by the government to reduce frauds and pilferage in the biggest farmer scheme till date.
“We believe almost all the 28 lakh farmers who applied for the scheme are likely to get the benefit in the third instalment except those who made technical errors in their application. However, the field level verification will ensure that no ineligible beneficiaries were included in the list,” said Agriculture Directorate officials.
The operational guidelines of the scheme have a set of guidelines to get the benefit like families with taxpayers, serving and retired government staff, professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accounts and architects registered with professional bodies, MLAs and MPs, etc are not eligible.