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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 09:22 IST

MPC member urges income tax on wealthy farmers in Interim Budget 2024

Ashima Goyal proposes taxing wealthy farmers positively, shifting towards a data-rich system with lower rates and minimal exemptions.

Business Desk
Wealthy farmer tax
Wealthy farmer tax | Image:Pixabay
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Wealthy farmer tax: In the lead-up to the presentation of the Interim Budget 2024, Ashima Goyal, a member of the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), suggested the possibility of imposing income tax on affluent farmers to introduce fairness into the taxation system. Goyal stressed that government transfers to farmers function as a form of negative income tax, and she proposed implementing a positive income tax for wealthy farmers as part of a shift toward a data-rich system with lower tax rates and minimal exemptions.

Are increased benefits on the horizon?

Notably, the PM-Kisan Yojana, a central scheme fully funded by the government, provides an annual financial assistance of Rs 6,000 to economically disadvantaged farmers. Launched just before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on February 24, 2019, there are indications that the government might increase the financial support under the scheme to Rs 8,000 per farmer ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in April-May. Additionally, considerations are being made to enhance provisions under PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

The 16th instalment of the PM-KISAN scheme is expected to be launched between February and March 2024, although no official announcement has been made regarding this matter. The 15th instalment was released on November 15, 2023. Notably, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare reports that in the past two months, every fourth beneficiary added to the PM-Kisan scheme has been a woman.

Gender equality grows

Between November 15, 2023, and January 14, 2024, out of the 40,50,375 beneficiaries added to PM-Kisan, 10,61,278 were women. Uttar Pradesh leads in the number of women beneficiaries, with 1.69 lakh additions, followed by Rajasthan (1.56 lakh), Manipur (1.05 lakh), Jharkhand (90,949), and Kerala (66,887).

The new beneficiaries were enroled through the Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra (VBSY), a flagship initiative aimed at creating awareness about government schemes. Launched on November 15, 2023, VBSY seeks maximum coverage of beneficiaries under various schemes before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

As of November 15, 2023, there were a total of 8.12 crore PM-Kisan beneficiaries, with 6.27 crore men and 1.83 crore women. During the initial instalment in December-March 2018-19, there were 3.03 crore recipients, reaching a peak of 10.47 crore in April-July 2022, and subsequently declining to 8.12 crore in August-November 2023.

​(With PTI Inputs)

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 09:22 IST

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