Budget 2019: Farmer payout Rs 6,000 won't cost much but won't mean much either -Harish Damodaran

-The Indian Express

Under the Pradhan Mantri — Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, all farmers cultivating up to two hectares (5 acres) will get direct income support of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

Work out the basic arithmetic of a farm’s expense — fertiliser, machinery, fuel, seeds — and an annual Rs 6000-payout, an average of Rs 16.40 a day, doesn’t add up to much.

In fact, a Rs 2,000 payout to about 12 crore farmers before the ensuing Lok Sabha polls — that’s what the government’s much-awaited “farm package”, unveiled in the Interim Budget for 2019-20 on Friday, would practically amount to.

Under the Pradhan Mantri — Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, all farmers cultivating up to two hectares (5 acres) will get direct income support of Rs 6,000 annually, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each.

As per the 2015-16 Agricultural Census, out of the country’s total 14.57 crore operational holdings, there were 12.56 crore of less than two hectares size. The Interim Budget has provided Rs 75,000 crore for PM-Kisan in 2019-20, which can more or less finance the proposed Rs 6,000 payment for these farmers.

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The Indian Express, 2 February, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/business/budget-2019-farmer-payout-rs-6000-agrarian-crisis-5565558/

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