NEW DELHI : The Centre has transferred the first instalment of 2,000 each to over 2 crore farmers so far under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said Wednesday.

In the Interim Budget 2019-20, the central government had announced the PM-Kisan scheme under which 6,000 per year will be given in three instalments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to 2 hectares. It promised to give the first instalment of 2,000 by March.

On February 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the scheme in Uttar Pradesh by transferring the first tranche amount to over one crore farmers.

"Many states are seriously showing interest to implement the scheme and sending the data. So far, over 2 crore farmers have been benefitted," Singh told reporters.

Some states such as West Bengal, the minister said, are not keen to roll out the scheme and therefore not providing the data. "To such states, I only urge to keep the politics aside else the electorate will teach them a lesson," he added.

Asked about a large number of vacancies in top leadership positions at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Singh said the recruitment would be done in a transparent manner now as the entire process has been digitised unlike manual process earlier.

On protest by ICAR staff over pay parity, the minister said the matter is being looked into by his junior minister.

The minister said the government has shifted the farm policy approach from production-centric to income-centric. Farmers have begun to understand and are going in a big way toward income-oriented farming.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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