In the interim Union budget 2019-20, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced direct income diretired income support of Rs. 6,000 per year to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to 2 hectare. The scheme was officially launched on February 24, 2019 in Gorakhpur by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, although, the scheme was launched retrospectively from December 1, 2018, to facilitate the transfer of first installment of Rs. 2,000 in the fiscal year 2018-19.
Key features of the scheme are following–
• A family comprising husband, wife and minor children who collectively own cultivable land up to 2 hectare as per land records of the concerned State/ beneficiary list. UT is eligible.
• First installment of Rs. 2;000 was transferred into the accounts of 1.01 crore farmers on 24th Feb. 2019 and those who did not get it on 24th February will get it. before 31st March, 2019.
• Farmer families are excluded if one or more members belong to following categories : (a) former and present holders of constitutional posts (b) former and present ministers/state ministers and former/present members of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/ state legislative assemblies/state legislative councils, former and present mayors of municipal corporations and former and present chairpersons of district panchayats.
• The exclusion list includes families of all serving or retired officers and employees of central/ state government ministries/ offices/ departments and its field units central or state public sector enterprises (PSEs) and attached offices/ autonomous institutions under government as well as regular employees of the local- bodies (excluding multi tasking staff In the interim Union budget class IV / Group D employees).
• All superannuated / retired pensioners whose monthly pension is Rs. 10,000/ or more (excluding multi-tasking staff/Class IV /Group D employees) of above category are also excluded
• The benefit of the scheme would not be available to “all persons who paid income tax in last assessment year.”
• Families having one or more members as professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers, chartered accountants, and architects registered with professional bodies and carrying out profession by undertaking practices have been excluded from the beneficiary list.
• For the purpose of exclusion State / UT Government can certify the eligibility of the beneficiary based on self declaration by the beneficiaries.
• In case of incorrect self declaration, beneficiary shall be liable for recovery of transferred financial benefit and other penal actions as per law.
• The cut-off date for ownership of cultivable land is February 1, Rs. 2019.