Hindustan Times : Feb 06, 2019, 09:56 AM
The interim budget 2019-20 announced annual income support of Rs 6,000 to all farmer families with land ownership up to two hectares under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). The announcement triggered a war of words between the Opposition and the government. Speaking in Leh on February 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition by saying, “PM-KISAN is a phenomenal.“Dear NoMo, 5 years of your incompetence and arrogance has destroyed the lives of our farmers. Giving them Rs. 17 a day is an insult to everything they stand and work for.” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, hours after the scheme was announced.Speaking in Leh on February 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked the Opposition by saying, “PM-KISAN is a phenomenal scheme for farmers. People sitting in air conditioned rooms in Delhi do not know what Rs 6,000 mean for a poor farmer living in distant and difficult areas of the country.”What both Gandhi and Modi did not tell us was how much an average Indian farmer earns. In an interview to the Business Standard newspaper published on Monday, chief economic advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said “Rs 6000 announced in the scheme is actually one-sixth, or 16.66% ,of their [small and medium farmers’] annual income” and hence “it is not a trivial amount”. Subramanian did not cite a source for these statistics.