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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.

Cargill India President Simon George said: “We are particularly optimistic about the central government sponsored PM-KISAN Yojana, Direct Benefit Transfers to small holder farmers. Though a lot more can be done, a good move that will help farmers align better with market.”

Many more initiatives including market reforms like implementing model APMC act, Essential Commodity Act etc. are required to achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, he added.

The interest subvention scheme to farmers engaged in animal husbandry and fisheries is also a positive development helping farmers through lower interest rates, he added.

KisanKraft Managing Director Ravindra Agrawal said: “It is a good budget focused on implementing positive changes to the agri sector. We believe this will pave the way for the sector to see increased participation from businesses in improving farmer skills and income.”

Hester Biosciences CEO and MD Rajiv Gandhi said besides PM-KISAN, the budget has provided a strong framework for the animal husbandry sector.

“It continues to rightly focus on infrastructure development and agriculture sector. The planned investment in these two critical sectors will not only create jobs but also give impetus to demand generation and economic growth,” he said.

Delhi-based precision agri-tech company Weather Risk Management Services Advisor Sujay Ojha said the PM-KISAN Yojana is first positive step of recognising the vulnerable section of small and marginal farmers.

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