Over five crore farmers were yet to get the third instalment of money under the Centre's ambitious PM-Kisan scheme, aimed at providing direct support of Rs 6,000 annually to them, according to the latest Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare data.
The total amount of the scheme, which came into effect on December 1, 2018, is to be paid in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 every four months.
The data showed about 2.51 crore farmers have not got even the second instalment and 5.16 crore of them were yet to get the third instalment.
Over 9 crore farmers have registered themselves under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019, it said.
Of these, 7.62 crore or 84 per cent of farmers have received the first instalment.
The money through the second instalment was given to nearly 6.5 crore farmers and the amount under the third instalment was given to 3.85 crore beneficiaries, according to the data received in response to an RTI query filed by this PTI journalist.
The agriculture ministry, in its response, gave three sets of data mentioning the benefits given to farmers under the scheme between December 2018 and November 2019.
It said 4.74 crore farmers were registered between December 2018 and March 2019.
Of them, 4.22 crore received the first instalment, 4.02 crore the second and 3.85 crore the third.
There was no mention why nearly 50 lakh, 70 lakh and 90 lakh registered farmers during this period did not get the first, second and third instalment respectively.
There was no registered beneficiary in West Bengal and Sikkim, hence no amount was disbursed during this period, according to the data.
Giving details of the 3.08 crore farmers registered between April and July last year, it said 2.66 crore and 2.47 crore beneficiaries have got their first and second instalments respectively.
The RTI reply did no mention why around 40 lakh and 61 lakh registered farmers during this period did not get their first and second instalment respectively.
"The beneficiaries are eligible for the instalment for the period in which he/she gets registered and subsequent periods, thereafter. Therefore, the third instalment is not due for the beneficiaries registered in the period April 2019-July 2019," the ministry said.
There was no registered beneficiary during this period in West Bengal, Punjab and Chandigarh and therefore nobody was paid first and second instalments.
The ministry said around 1.19 crore beneficiaries were registered between August and November 30, 2019, of these nearly 73.66 lakh farmers have been given the first instalment.
There was no mention of payment of first instalment to over 45 lakh eligible beneficiaries during the period.
"The beneficiaries are eligible for the instalment for the period in which he/she gets registered and subsequent periods, thereafter. Therefore, the second and third instalments are not due for the beneficiaries registered in the period August 2019 to November 2019," it said.
The ministry was asked to provide the total number of farmers, state-wise, and the amount received by them under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi or PM-Kisan scheme.
"PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme has been implemented from December 1, 2018. It is stated that PM-Kisan is a continuous and ongoing scheme, in which the financial benefits are transferred to the bank accounts of the identified beneficiaries as and when their correct and verified data is uploaded by the concerned states/union territories on PM-Kisan web portal," the ministry said in the RTI response vide its letter dated December 26, 2019.
The data of beneficiaries so uploaded by them undergoes a multi-level verification, including by banks, and only then the amount is released to the beneficiary, it said, adding that www.pmkisan.gov.in website can be accessed to get more details on the operational guidelines of the scheme.
According to the data updated on the website on February 3, around 8.82 crore farmers have been registered and 8.41 crore have received the first installment, 7.56 crore the second instalment, 6.19 crore the third and 3.03 crore have received the fourth installment.
In Assam, out of 16.97 lakh farmers registered during this period, 14.02 lakh got the first instalment, 13.72 lakh received the second and 9.87 lakh the third.
Of the 42.34 lakh registered beneficiaries in Maharashtra, 36.98 lakh got the first instalment, 31.53 lakh the second and 27.67 lakh got the third instalment.
As many as 23.83 lakh farmers in Kerala received their first instalment, 18.79 lakh got the second and 18.43 lakh the third. A total of 26.13 lakh beneficiaries were registered in the state between December 2018 and March 2019.
There was no beneficiary registered during the period from West Bengal, which has refused to implement the scheme, according to the ministry's response.
In Uttar Pradesh, nearly 9.57 lakh out of 19.64 lakh farmers have got the first instalment. In Gujarat, nearly 1.22 lakh out of 1.98 lakh registered farmers got the first instalment.
Around 9.78 lakh farmers out of the 17.18 lakh registered beneficiaries have received the first instalment in Madhya Pradesh. In Odisha, only 5,507 farmers out of 5.6 lakh registered farmers have got the first instalment, the ministry said.
None of the 7,326 farmers registered in Sikkim was paid the first instalment, according to the ministry's reply. In Delhi, 1,447 farmers out of 1,734 have got the first instalment.