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PM Modi approves Rs 20,000 crore for 9.3 crore farmers

PM Modi approves Rs 20,000 crore for 9.3 crore farmers

New Delhi: In his inaugural act of his third tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi authorised the disbursement of the 17th tranche of ‘PM Kisan Nidhi’ funds, a substantial sum of nearly Rs 20,000 crore, poised to aid approximately 9.3 crore farmers.

Subsequently, Cabinet passed a resolution to extend housing assistance to an additional 3 crore rural and urban households. This measure is in response to the growing number of families qualifying for housing aid under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), a scheme operational since the fiscal year 2015-16, aimed at providing housing with essential amenities to eligible beneficiaries.

After signing on to the release of funds, Modi said: “Ours is a government fully committed to ‘kisan kalyan’ (farmers’ welfare). It is, therefore, fitting that the first file signed on taking charge is related to it. We want to keep working even more for farmers and the agriculture sector in the times to come.”

This action underscores the government’s pledge to farmer welfare, following the National Democratic Alliance’s electoral victory, despite experiencing some challenges, particularly in rural regions.

Contrastingly, the Congress party critiqued Modi’s gesture, dismissing it as no special favour, citing the overdue nature of the PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi fund, which was delayed by the election code. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh contended that the 17th instalment’s release, promoted as the new government’s inaugural decision, is merely the fulfilment of farmers’ rightful entitlement as per government policy.

Ramesh challenged Modi’s concern for farmers, urging him to enact legal status for the minimum support price (MSP), declare a farm loan amnesty, and ensure direct insurance payouts to farmers’ bank accounts.

He accused Modi of grandstanding with the release of the PM-Kisan funds, emphasising the delays in previous instalments due to electoral strategy and regulatory constraints. Ramesh criticised Modi for portraying routine administrative acts as magnanimous gifts, suggesting an inflated self-perception.

Furthermore, Ramesh outlined five actions that Modi should undertake to genuinely advocate for farmers’ welfare: legalising MSP as per the Swaminathan Commission’s guidelines, instituting a farm loan waiver, ensuring prompt insurance payments post-crop damage, consulting farmers for a new import-export policy, and exempting essential farming inputs from GST.

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