On Thursday, the government said that giving their Aadhaar numbers has been made optional for small and marginal farmers in order to avail the second installment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme that was recently launched.
On 24 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the benefit scheme also known as PM Kisan scheme where the first installment of Rs 2,000 each for the year was transferred to 1.01 crore farmers. The total amount distributed came up to Rs 2,021 crore.
Those registered in the Rs 75,000 crore PM Kisan scheme will receive Rs 6,000 per year in 3 equal installments. It was earlier said that while the first installment did not require providing the farmer's Aadhaar details, the second would only be disbursed on submitting it (except for the residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir) to verify their identity.
After a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that to avail the second installment of Rs 2,000, that is due on 1 April, Aadhaar was no longer mandatory.
For the purpose of the calculation of the benefit, the Centre has defined a small and marginal landholder family as the one comprising of a couple with minor children up to 18 years of age, who collectively own cultivable land up to two hectares as per the land records of the concerned states.