A controversy has erupted after FM Arun Jaitley tweeted that Karnataka has sent only 60,000 names to the centre so far, for the PM Kisan scheme. Karnataka government has disputed that statement and has said that it has already updated 3 lakh names on the national portal. CNBC-TV18 spoke to Siraj Hussain, former agri secretary to discuss the PM Kisan scheme.
Hussain said, "I think coverage of 2.3 crore farmers in such a short period of time is a great achievement for the government and it will surely be used during the election campaign, especially in major states of UP, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh etc. Also I find that my ex-colleagues in the UP cadre of IAS have done a very good job because in a very short period of time they have been able to collate the records of land holding with the bank accounts and other details of various beneficiaries, even the Aadhaar number has been linked even though government of India did not make it mandatory. So, all this work has been done by the revenue department of UP government in collaboration with agriculture department in a very short period of time. Some 75 lakh farmers in UP have received the money according to a report in Business Line, you have said 80 lakh farmers. So, well done UP and I only hope that other states will also do it fast enough."
He further added, "It is very clear that several states do not want to share this data with the central government because they may be thinking that the credit for this will then go to the central government and they are right in assuming that. I wrote an article in Mint last week in which I said very clearly that in this scheme there is no share of the state government. This very government in 2015-16 had changed the funding pattern of a large number of schemes when the allocation on the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission was increased from 32 percent to 42 percent. In PM Kisan for political reasons, if I may say so, it was decided that the states will not have any share. So, it is very clear that the states see that if the money is actually transferred then all the credit will be taken by the central government. So, that is perhaps explaining the reluctance of several states in sharing the data with the central government. I am sure they have the data but they do not want to share it."