The Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi government, ahead of the assembly polls in the national capital has agreed to implement the ambitious central scheme Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) under which income support of Rs 6,000 is provided to each eligible farmer. Under the scheme, which was launched in February just before the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre is crediting Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments directly into the bank accounts of farmers.
Around seven crore farmers have received benefit under the scheme. But West Bengal and Delhi governments had refused to implement the scheme. "After much persuasion, the Delhi government has agreed to implement the scheme. They have sent names of 11,000 farmers," said Vivek Agarwal, the Joint Secretary in Agriculture Ministry who is in charge of the scheme. The ministry is waiting for the state government's auto-debit consent for transferring the amount, he told PTI.
According to sources, the Delhi government has finally agreed to implement the PM-KISAN scheme as the ruling party wants to avoid a backlash from farmers during the assembly polls due in mid-January 2020. Agarwal said farmers across the country are keen to join the scheme and take the benefit of the amount. "We have also received several applications of farmers from West Bengal. We cannot process them as the state government has not given consent," he said. More than Rs 32,000 crore has already been released under the scheme through the first instalment to 7 crore beneficiary farmers, the second instalment to 5.6 crore beneficiaries and third instalment to 3.2 crore beneficiaries, he added.
Last week, it was reported that, in a bid to win the support of over 1.50 lakh taxi drivers and owners in the upcoming Delhi assembly elections, the AAP government is likely to relax various test fees and penal charges for them. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot gave nod to a proposal for providing monetary reliefs to taxi drivers on various counts during a meeting of his department, said a senior government official.
The Delhi government believes in investing in people and it is its responsibility to extend all kinds of facilities to its people, the AAP said, responding to the opposition's criticism of "freebies" being offered by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's dispensation. The Delhi government had recently announced its plans to make metro rides free for women. In August, the Delhi Cabinet gave in-principle approval to a scheme for free bus rides for women in the city from October 29.
(With PTI inputs)