According to the agricultural ministry's responses to queries posed in Parliament, the number of farmers receiving income transfers under the flagship PM Kisan program has decreased from 104 million at its height in 2021–2022, to 80 million in the current fiscal year, a decrease of approximately 23%.
According to a written reply presented in the Lok Sabha on February 14, payments made to farmers under the plan therefore decreased by 14%, from 67,032 crore in 2021–22 to 57,646 crore in 2022–23.
In order to determine the causes of a decline in the number of eligible farm families, some opposition MPs have requested statistics on PM Kisan, one of the major government direct benefit transfer programs.
All total, throughout the course of 13 installments since the scheme's commencement in 2019, approximately 110 million farmers have collected 2.50 lakh crore. According to the government, approximately 3 million women have received funds totaling close to $53,600 crore.
Under condition of anonymity, a program administrator stated states alone were in charge of identifying applicants in accordance with the plan's qualifying requirements. To improve efficiency and guarantee that only qualified farm families are registered, the Center frequently analyzes its implementation with the states.
Under PM-KISAN, the Center offers farmers with a valid enrollment income assistance of 6,000 per year, distributed in three equal cash transfers of 2,000 each, one every four months. The launch took place on February 24, 2019.
After proper verification, “the States/UTs have been given the option to designate beneficiaries as eligible to ineligible and vice versa,” the ministry said.
For instance, Assam opened an investigation in 2020 after discovering that many ineligible individuals had self-enrolled.
According to the government, payouts are only transferred following the proper checks and validations. Aadhaar verification, combined with the validation of bank accounts by a public finance management system and the matching of income tax data, have all increased the rigor of enrollment checks.
Each farm family that owns land is eligible for cash transfers under the program, providing they do not pay income tax, occupy public office, or are retirees who earn pensions more than 10,000 rupees.