Farmers' income support initiative may face major challenge: Experts (Representational Image)
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the farmers’ income support initiative announced by the Centre in the interim budget, may face major roadblocks including legal ones during its implementation phase, experts said on Saturday. To woo distressed farmers ahead of the general elections, the Centre has announced direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to those holding cultivable land up to two hectares.
The Centre had said it would benefit 12 crore farmers and cost the exchequer Rs 75,000 crore annually. "Irrespective of whether the amount of Rs 6,000 per family a year would be adequate or not or the same is a judicious decision, implementation would be a major issue and may face lot of legal hurdles after a recent Supreme Court judgement on ownership," Supreme Court senior advocate N K Poddar said here at an interactive session organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce.
Jadavpur University economics professor Saikat Sinha Roy apprehended that the Rs 75,000 crore on account of the scheme would mostly move into the ‘unproductive conspicuous consumption’ head. He said an equal amount could have been disbursed in the form of farm input or better price offers on output as the economic benefit could have been much higher that way.
According to the experts, the government might have announced the initiative to boost immediate consumption-led growth of the economy. A recent Supreme Court judgement has said that by merely having one’s name in the title deed does not qualify one to become the landowner and in the wake of a legal contest, claims would arise.
On the other hand, what will happen if a plot of land has more than one owner and if all of them would receive Rs 6,000 each for the same land, Poddar said. "Even transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 per family would be challenging," Poddar said. He also said that ‘notional income’ on second house concept should be abolished altogether which exists only in India to boost real estate.