PM Kisan scheme: Aadhaar optional for first installment; compulsory from second one

• Farmers who wish to avail themselves of benefits under PM-KISAN, the new income support scheme announced in the Union Budget, must have Aadhaar identification to get the money from the second instalment, which would be paid by July 2019.

• However, this would not be compulsory for the first instalment expected to be disbursed by March 31, before the Lok Sabha polls.

• States have been told to prepare a database of beneficiaries — small and marginal landholder farmer families in all villages including whether they belong to SC/ST, bank account, mobile and Aadhaar details.

• For transfer of the first installment, Aadhaar number “shall be collected wherever available”, wrote Mr. Agarwal. An alternate list of identification documents has also been provided, as options.

• However, for transfer of subsequent installments, Aadhaar number shall have to be compulsorily captured.

Land records

• States have also been told to update their land records, as that would serve as the basis for determination of landholding for beneficiaries.

• However, the secretary also said that the cut-off date for determination of ownership of land (as per land records) under the scheme was already over; the cut-off date was February 1, 2019.

• Changes thereafter in land records shall not be considered for eligibility of the benefit to the new land holder for next 5 years.

• The situation is slightly more complicated in the northeastern States, as land ownership rights in the region are community-based, making it difficult to identify beneficiaries.

• An alternate implementation mechanism would be developed by a committee including the State governments, as well as the Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Land Resources ministry and Agriculture ministry, the official wrote.

• States would be given a maximum of 0.25% of funds transferred to beneficiaries in the first installment to pay for their administrative expenses in the implementation of the scheme.

• That amount would drop to 0.125% for all further installments.

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