PIB/ TMB Report
IMPHAL: When the first lockdown was announced as a measure to check the rapid spread of Covid19 pandemic in the country, the Central government made it clear that it intends to protect crores of poor people from the adverse impact of the lockdown due to pandemic. It announced a financial assistance scheme to the tune of Rs 34,800 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) using the digital payment infrastructure.
One of the most important part of the package is the Ann Yojana under which 80 crore poor people will get 5 kg wheat or rice and 1 kg of preferred pulses for free every month starting April for the next three months. This was further increased recently till November in an address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In India more than 70% of the total farmers are small and marginal farmers. They are an important part of the Indian economy, not only because of huge numbers but also because of the contribution they make to national economy. In a small state like Manipur most of the farmers are small and marginal farmers.
One part of the PMGKY package is PM KISAN which is a truly an empowering project designed for ensuring dignified life for small scale farmers and is meant to address farmer’s issues like migration and improvment of crop intensity. Under the scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares. The amount is given in three installments of Rs. 2000 each. Rs 16,394 crore has been front loaded towards payment of the first instalment of PM-KISAN to 8.19 crore beneficiaries.
The Impact of these measures are evident in the lives of the poor families of Manipur. For instance, Aning from Duithanluang Ward No-5, Tamenglong district Manipur got LPG for free under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. This has been a great help to her during the hardship of the pandemic lockdown. She is grateful to the Central Government and State Government for this generous initiative.
Speaking to us, another beneficiary Smt. Lv. Phaldon of Leigangching village from Chandel district expressed her gratitude to the Central Govt and State Govt for distribution of 5 Kgs of rice to each of her family members totalling tom 15 kgs for her three member family and 3 Kg of Dal free under PMGKY during this lockdown period. During this pandemic she said her family has limited source of income. But with this scheme her family’s hardship has been lessened to a certain amount.
Another beneficiary has a similar tale to tell about how the Ann Yojana has benefited her family. Smt Lhingboi from Teising, Churachandpur District expresses her gratitude and thanks the Government for providing free ration of 20Kgs of rice for her 4 member family under PMGKY during this COVID19 lockdown period.
Sofina Dilbung of New Chayang village from Chandel district expresses her gratitude to the Central Govt and State Govt for free distribution of 15 Kgs of rice to each for her family members, a bottle of edible oil and 3 Kg of Dal under PMGKY
Kihang Newme a marginal farmer owning a small piece of paddy farm from Katang Beukam village, Tamenglong district. Manipur has received the farming subsidy of Rs.2000/- under Pradhan Mantri Kishan Yojana. He is happy and grateful to the Central Government and State Government’s initiative during Lockdown period. Likewise Smt. Alule Newme from Katang Beukam village, Tamenglong district, Manipur is also a marginal farmer who had received the farming subsidy of Rs.2000/- under PMKY. She would like to thank the government for the welfare scheme of the government which had helped her at this juncture of the pandemic.
All these numerous narratives from the field gives us the confidence that the poor are being helped and that we shall overcome this challenge by being united and focused.