The Centre is likely to announce a 50 per cent hike in the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi, increasing it to Rs 9,000 per year. An announcement in this regard is likely to be made during the upcoming Interim Budget 2024, to be presented by Union Minister Of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024.
The PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi, a direct benefit transfer scheme under the central government, currently provides an income support of Rs 6,000 per year to all landholding farmer families in three instalments of Rs 2,000 every four months. The scheme intends to support their financial needs for procuring various inputs related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs. The proposed increase to Rs 9,000 was reported based on an Economic Times poll of economists.
Now, existing beneficiaries of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi must complete their online e-know your customer (e-KYC) verification by January 31, 2024 in order to receive the upcoming 16th instalment under the scheme.
All farmers with landholdings irrespective of the size of their land are eligible for benefits under the scheme. Of the over 150 million farmers in India, over 80 per cent own less than five acres of land. Last year’s budget allocated Rs 60,000 crore to the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi, accounting to 2.8 per cent of the total Union Budget, with the agriculture sector receiving around Rs 1.2 lakh crore in total.
To ensure timely receipt of the 16th instalment under the scheme, beneficiaries must complete their online e-KYC by January 31, 2024. Those failing to comply will miss out on the instalment amount of Rs 2,000. Incidentally, e-KYC was made mandatory in December 2022, but still there are thousands of farmers who are yet to complete their e-KYC. According to the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi website, “eKYC is mandatory for PMKISAN registered farmers. OTP-based e-KYC is available on the PMKISAN Portal or the nearest common services centres (CSCs), where farmers can contact for biometric-based e-KYC.”
Farmers with unverified land details who have their bank accounts linked with their Aadhaar can verify their land details by presenting the relevant documents to the Patwari Halka or the Tehsil office. Then, they need to visit their nearest e-Mitra or CSCs and complete the e-KYC process by giving their thumb impression (biometric-based verification). Alternatively, they can also do an e-KYC through face-authentication after downloading the PM Kisan GOI app. There is also an OTP based e-KYC available on the PM Kisan Web portal.