Baramulla: Scores of farmers have been alleging that Agricultural Department is forcing them to opt for PM Kisan Maandhan Yojna. They say the scheme is voluntary and yet they are being compelled to enrol themselves.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana is a government scheme meant for old age protection and social security of unorganized workers between the age group of 18 and 40. The pension scheme is voluntary in nature and assures pensionary benefits of Rs 3,000 per month. The unorganized workers having monthly income of Rs 15,000 can opt for the scheme.
Farmers from North Kashmir’s Baramulla district told news agency Kashmir News Trust that in order to achieve the set target, the Agriculture employees are regularly visiting their homes, forcing them to opt for this pension scheme.
“The job of an agriculture employee is to create awareness about this scheme and he can’t force anyone to opt for it. But contrary has been happening on the ground,” said one of the farmers.
As per farmers, every agriculture employee of District Baramulla has been assigned a target on daily basis to get farmers enrolled for this scheme. Chief Agriculture Officer gives target to Sub Divisional Officer, SDAO gives target to Agriculture Extension Officers, finally AEO gives target to JAEOs and AEAs. The lower in the hierarchy are either forcing farmers to get enrolled or registering them without their knowledge and consent.
“The agriculture employees threaten farmers that they will lose the benefits from other schemes if they don’t opt for the PM Kisan Maandhan Yojna.”
They said amid rise in Covid-19 cases, these employees visit the houses of farmers without any information, collecting various documents, Adhar Cards and Account Numbers. Some farmers are too poor to contribute even Rs 100 per month for this scheme.
“To achieve the set target, the agriculture employees are least bothered about the monthly income of the farmer,” they said adding that enrolling an unorganized worker without his consent is against the norms of PM Kisan Maandhan Yojna.
When contacted, Chief Agriculture Officer Baramulla, Yadvinder Singh Sason told KNT that nobody can be enrolled without his consent. “A worker needs to sign the documents and without his signatures, he can’t be enrolled,” he said and asked the aggrieved farmers to visit his office. (KNT)