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NEW DELHI: Farm industry welcomed the government’s direct income support scheme PM-KISAN but said the amount offered to small and marginal farmers is lower than what is being provided by Telangana and Odisha governments.

In the interim budget 2019-20, the government announced transfer of Rs 6,000 per year to 12 crore farmers holding cultivable land up to 2 hectare directly into their bank accounts from this year itself.

Welcoming the move, Indian Council of Food and Agriculture Chairman M J Khan said: “The support amount is small and lower than the Rythu Bandhu scheme of Telangana or the KALIA of Odisha, and hence not much impact is likely.”

He further said it was the only option available with the government to reach out to farmers in a short time before the election code of conduct comes into force.

Money transferred to farmers’ accounts will be good for the party in power and also will be a good for the party in power and also will be a boost to the rural economy, he said in a statement.

The Rythu Bandhu scheme of Telangana offers Rs 10,000 per acre a year to all farmers, excluding tenant farmers, while the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme of Odisha offers direct benefit cash transfer of Rs 25,000 for a farm family over five seasons to small and marginal farmers.

Noting that proper execution of PM-KISAN scheme is very important to ensure benefits are passed on to farmers, Insecticides India Managing Director Rajesh Aggrawal said the government should focus on strategising and the implementation of the policy.

Ajay Kakra of PwC India said PM-KISAN is in the right direction as the income can be helpful to protect the small and marignal farmers from market and price fluctuation and absorb the inflationary cost increments.
Around 72 per cent of farmers are in this category and are likely to increase to 90 per cent by 2025, he added.

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