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-- Estimated eligible farmers: 15.11 crore from Agricultural Census 2015-16.
-- PM-KISAN eligible families: 14.50 crore (after exclusions).
Actual registrations: 11.51 crore (79% of projection) as of Dec 2, 2020.
-- Issues with initial estimations and registration process.
-- Challenges include incomplete land records, slow Aadhaar authentication, and incorrect bank details.

Based on analysis by Accountability India.

Nearly three in four women in the rural workforce work in agriculture, according to 2017-18 government data. In nearly 35 years to 2017-18, women's participation in the agricultural workforce has declined 14.3 percentage points to 73.2%. Also, despite their significant presence in agriculture, women own only 12.8% of land holdings.

While all farmers suffered reduced income and a fall in sale of produce due to the pandemic, the lockdown also severely impacted incomes and employment opportunities for women farmers. Nearly 74% of women farmers who sold their produce said they had sold it to private vendors at lower rates than prescribed by the government markets and of these, 74% did so because they needed money urgently.

Read more: IndiaSpend story: Women Farmers Face Uncertain Future As Lockdown Affects Income

The PM-KISAN scheme excludes agricultural labourers, who form 55% of all agricultural workers.

Read more: IndiaSpend story: MSP Guarantee Alone Will Not Improve Farm Incomes

The cash transfer formed the smallest percentage (16%) of the annual income for marginal households and largest (174%) for large households. Households with larger land-holdings seemed to benefit much more from cash transfers.

Moreover, based on a field survey in a village in Telangana, cash transfer accounted for 10% of a marginal farmer's debt; but 30% of a large farmer's debt

Read more: IndiaSpend story: Why Cash Transfers Cannot Replace Structural Reforms In Agriculture

Nationally, the average (median) monthly consumption expenditure of a farmer household in rural India was Rs. 6,800 from July 2019 to June 2020. Thus, PM-KISAN benefit for a year was less than the average consumption expenditure of a farmer family in a month.

Since the launch of the scheme, cumulatively, Rs. 179,060 crore had been transferred to farmers.

Not all the allocated funds for PM-KISAN have been released in the past. In FY 2019-20, GoI released Rs. 49,196 crore to eligible farmers, amounting to 90% of the GoI allocations as per REs. In FY 2020-21, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GoI frontloaded the scheme’s instalments for the year, resulting in a faster pace of release.

Release of funds under PM-KISAN happens in three equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 in a financial year. The first instalment is released between April and July, the second between August and October, and the third and final between December and March. In addition, states and UTs are entitled to receive administrative expenses for identifying eligible farmers, field verification, filling of prescribed formats, their certification, updating verified farmers’ information on the portal, etc.