Farmers are suffering from delays and technical snags in village and taluk panchayat offices as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Prime Minister’s incentive scheme for small and marginal farmers, has created a huge rush for property documents.
This has not only affected the routine work in these offices, but is also delaying applications for the incentive scheme.
“It is getting very difficult to get documents on time,” says Basavaraj Patil, a farmer of Rayabag. “We need to apply with documents including land records, Aadhaar, address and identity proof. It is difficult to collect all documents and submit them in a few days. I have gone to the taluk office three times, and came back disappointed,” he said. “Infrastructure is the main problem for this,” said Vasant Bhat of Uttara Kannada district. “Farmers are facing severe problems owing to low capacity of servers and outdated computers in Nada Kacheris and Panchayat offices. In some places, the operators are not well trained to handle the rush or the technical snags. In my taluk, slow internet speed is forcing hundreds to wait for hours every day to get RTCs,” he said.
Officials say that though there is a deadline for the scheme, they are under pressure to include as many beneficiaries as possible by the time of the announcement of the Lok Sabha polls.
“We are working overtime and trying to ensure farmers get their documents as soon as possible. We are burdened as we are involved in election preparation work and drought relief,” a district administration officer in Belagavi said.
Munish Moudgil, Commissioner, Survey Settlement and Bhoomi Monitoring Cell, admits that the delays and snags are caused by the huge rush of applications.
“It has created a huge rush for documents. Lakhs of farmers are seeking printouts of RTCs. We are tackling the issue technically and logistically. We are working at the back end to make the programme run faster and take heavy traffic. On the other hand we are coordinating with various agencies to ensure that Bhoomi disbursal centres at the village and taluk levels have enough stocks of paper, ink printers, seamless internet connections and power supply,” Mr. Moudgil said.
The scheme was launched on December 1, 2018, and is scheduled to release the first installment of ₹2,000 to eligible farmers.
It lists eight categories of farmers that are exempt from the benefit. It includes elected members of legislative bodies, government servants and tax payers.