Gorakhpur, Feb 24 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday rolled out the ambitious PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi), a cash-transfer scheme, here in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and used the event to accuse the opposition of shedding crocodile tears for farmers.
The Centre had announced the PM-KISAN scheme in the 2019-20 Interim Budget.
Under this, Rs 6,000 will be paid to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land of up to two hectares per year in three instalments.
Officials said the funds will be electronically transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
In his public address, the Prime Minister said that various previous governments had drafted similar schemes but never empowered the farmers.
"They did not have the will to empower the farmer community but to keep them dependant."
This is why people voted for a single-party majority government in 2014, he said.
"We are working to ensure that you get everything and that by 2022 you income is doubled."
Bank accounts of farmers in 21 states and union territories had already been credited with Rs 2,021 crore "as we talk", Modi said.
The first instalment had already reached their bank accounts and added that this was just the beginning, triggering huge applause.
Modi added that in times to come, Rs 75,000 crore would reach the bank accounts of these 12 crore small-time farmers.
He clarified that every bit of this amount would be borne by his government and that the states would have nothing to contribute except to honestly prepare a list of beneficiaries.
The Prime Minister said that states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had done their bit and warned governments of the states "doing politics on this issue" not to do so or they will face the wrath of the farmers.
"We may be on two sides of politics but why make farmers suffer?" he asked.
The Prime Minister cautioned farmers to be careful about canards being spread about this scheme by the opposition parties.
"When we announced this scheme in Parliament, their faced dropped fearing that now Modi will get the blessings of the farmers," he said, alleging that the loan waiver of Rs 52,000 crore done by the UPA government before the last general election was a farce.
"Against a Rs 6 lakh crore debt on farmers, this amount was too less and that too was given to people who favoured the then ruling party." Many who benefitted had nothing to do with agriculture, he added.
"Now all this is a thing of past and the benefits will be transferred to the bank accounts of farmers without middlemen, without any favouritism," the Prime Minister said.