The Central government on Wednesday extended till 30 November the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding to avail the income support of Rs 6,000 per year under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme. The move has been made to help the farmers in the rabi crop season.
The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The Cabinet has decided to relax till 30 November, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi after 1 August," said Prakash Javdekar, the Information and Broadcasting Minister.
The scheme provides income support of Rs 6,000 per year to landholding families, subject to certain exclusions. The amount is released thrice a year with each instalment of Rs 2,000 going directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries through the DBT mode.
According to an official statement, it has not been possible to get 100 per cent Aadhaar seeding for release of funds as per the prescribed time schedule before release of instalments after August 1, 2019.
Since the farmers are still gearing up for the Rabi season, the government said the farmers are in dire need of money to take care of various farming activities like procurement of seeds, preparation of soil, and other associated activities like irrigation, maintenance, and mobilisation of machinery and tools. Over and above these pressing needs, the just started festive season will put further stress on the financial condition of the poor farmers' households in the country.
The government also said that the non-seeding of beneficiaries' details with Aadhaar number will delay the release of further instalments and will cause discontentment among the farmers.
Therefore, the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar seeding for release of benefits after 1 August has been relaxed till 30 November, the press release said.
This will enable immediate release of benefits to a large number of farmers who are not able to avail the same due to this requirement. This mandatory requirement will remain applicable for release of benefits with effect from 1 December. The government said it will take adequate measures to validate the data before payment is made.
Under this scheme, after 1 August, the release of the third instalment onwards to those beneficiaries who got the first instalment during December 2018 - March 2019 and the second instalment during April-July 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database.
Similarly, after 1 August, the release of the second instalment onwards to those who got the first instalment during April-July 2019 is to be made only on the basis of Aadhaar seeded database. Again, after 1 August, the release of the first instalment onwards to the rest of the beneficiaries is to be made only on the basis of the Aadhaar seeded database.
Farmers in Assam, Meghalaya, and Jammu and Kashmir, where there has not been enough Aadhaar penetration, have been exempted from this requirement till 31 March 2020.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)