Centre rejects Bengal CM's request to route PM Kisan funds via state govt

NEW DELHI: The centre has rejected West Bengal’s request to not pay famers directly under the PM-Kisan scheme but routing it through the state government.

West Bengal is the only state which has not implemented this scheme that gives Rs 6,000 to farmers annually in three equal instalments.

The state’s Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee wrote to Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar saying should would implement the PM-Kisan scheme in West Bengal if funds are transferred directly to the state government.

Official at the agriculture ministry said that the centre has categorically stated that the scheme is based on idea of direct benefit transfer to farmers’ account and “routing money through state government would be against the spirit of the scheme.”

“We are ready to pay farmers of West Bengal if the state government identify and send us the verified list of beneficiaries. This is a 100% central sponsored scheme and we can’t give money to state government to distribute on its own,” the official said.

He said that there are around 7 million farmers in West Bengal.

“Over 2 million farmers have self registered through Common Service Centres (CSCs) for the scheme. But we can’t transfer them the money unless the state government verifies their eligibility. If West Bengal government is really serious, they should immediately verify beneficiaries already registered on PM KISAN portal,” he said.

The government so far has disbursed Rs 93,000 crore to farmers since launch of the scheme in February 2019.

“We have more than 110 million beneficiaries in our list with Uttar Pradesh on top with around 26 million eligible beneficiaries followed by Maharashtra with 11 million farmers,” the official said.

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