25 Dec 2020: PM Modi releases Rs. 18,000cr to help nine crore farmers
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released one tranche of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme amounting to Rs. 18,000 crore which will benefit over nine crore farmers.
He also spoke to farmers of six states, to bust myths around the three farm laws that have triggered a massive agitation.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar also participated in the massive outreach program.
Scheme: Scheme is meant to help small and marginal farmers
Launched in February 2019, the PM-Kisan scheme is meant to provide monetary support to small and marginal farmers. Under this scheme, the government annually transfers Rs. 6,000 into the registered bank accounts of farmers.
However, the money is not released at once but given in three installments of Rs. 2,000 each, every four months.
PM Modi had released the first tranche last year.
What he said: Tomar urged protesting farmers to hold talks with government
Tomar spoke about the steps taken by the Central government to help farmers.
"Today, we can say with confidence that the entire amount will reach the farmers' accounts directly. This will greatly benefit the farmers," he said.
Addressing the protesting farmers, he said they should come forward and hold talks with the Centre. "I hope they will understand the importance of the new farm laws," he added.
Interaction: Farmers told PM Modi how Centre's schemes helped them
During the interaction, farmer Naveen from Odisha revealed how he benefited from Kisan Credit Card.
He received his in 2019 and took a loan of Rs. 27,000 at an interest rate of merely 4%. The interest rate would have been 20% had he taken the route of intermediaries, he added.
Another farmer, Manoj Patidar from Dhar, Madhya Pradesh, revealed the benefits of new laws.
Fact: One farmer sold his produce to ITC
"So far, I've received Rs. 10,000 under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. Under the new farm laws, we can now sell the farm produce to any private business/organization. This year, I sold 85 quintal soybean to ITC," Patidar said.
Fact: A farmer from Haryana revealed his gardening plans
Question: PM Modi lamented how politics has destroyed everything
Launching a sharp attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PM Modi said the state government is not allowing farmers to reap the benefits of the Centre's schemes.
"I'm surprised and pained...listen to Mamata Banerjee's old speeches ..you'll know how politics has destroyed everything! If you kept farmers in your heart, then why didn't you lead an agitation for them?" he asked.
Statement: Companies will take your produce, not land: PM Modi
At one point during the interaction, PM Modi accused people of misleading farmers.
"Some people are spreading misinformation that if you sign a contract, private companies won't just take your produce but they'll take away your land! So much falsehood," he said.
"Some parties are pushing political agenda by opposing new farm laws," he claimed, taking a direct dig at the Opposition.