The Congress on Thursday claimed that the Centre is issuing notices to farmers deemed ineligible under the PM-KISAN scheme to take back the money disbursed to them, and demanded the recovery from ”poor annadaatas” be immediately stopped.
The Opposition party said that while the government is ”waiving lakhs of crores” worth of loans of its industrialist friends, it is taking back money from farmers.
Addressing a press conference at the AICC headquarters here, Congress spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh said that by declaring the farmers ineligible under the Kisan Samman Nidhi, the central government has started the action of taking back the money.
”Instead of Kisan Samman Nidhi, this move of the central government has become ‘Kisan Apman Nidhi’. The government, which is waiving lakhs of crores of loans of its industrialist friends, is taking back the money given to the poor ‘annadaatas’ of the country…,” Singh said.
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In 2019, when the Modi government started PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi before the Lok Sabha elections, it ”hastily” took bank account numbers of farmers so that money reached them before the polls, he alleged.
”Now the central government is saying that those who are not eligible for this and have received the amount under the Kisan Samman Nidhi should return the money. The government is also sending notices to farmers for taking back the money. The process of recovery by declaring about two crore farmers ineligible across the country should be immediately stopped,” Singh said.
The government has said that money has been transferred to ineligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme and an advisory has been issued to states for getting refunds. A facility has been created on the web-portal through which any individual farmer can return the money through Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP) system.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN), which was announced in February 2019, is a central scheme that aims at providing financial assistance to landholding farmer families, subject to certain exclusion criteria, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.
Singh also said Uttar Pradesh should be declared a drought-hit state because this year there has been 44 per cent less rainfall than average due to which all Kharif crops have dried up.
”Along with this, after declaring the state drought-hit, all the farmers of the state should be given compensation for their crops immediately. Interest on all agricultural loans of farmers such as for agricultural equipment, fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, should be postponed for six months,” Singh said.
The Congress leader alleged that before the 2022 assembly elections, the Uttar Pradesh government had started the scheme of free food grains to eligible cardholders to influence their votes, which has now been stopped.
”With objective now achieved, vote taken, free ration has also been stopped,” he said.
”Unemployment-poverty has increased further. The purchasing power of the poor has further decreased. NCRB data shows that suicides of daily wage labourers have increased. The closure of the free ration scheme at such a time exposes the politics of selfishness and meanness of the state government,” he said.