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Fact Checking Government claims about Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

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The BJP government has uploaded an infographic on their 48-months portal that makes five claims about the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). This article is a fact check of the claims.

The BJP government has uploaded an infographic on their 48-months portal that makes five claims about the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY). This article is a fact check of the claims.

What is the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)?
‘The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) was launched in July 2015 for providing end-to end solutions in irrigation supply chain, viz. water sources, distribution network and farm level application’ states a response in Lok Sabha.

According to the PMKSY website, ‘It has been conceived amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (RD&GR), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (DoLR) and the On Farm Water Management (OFWM) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC). The scheme will be implemented by Ministries of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development. Programme architecture of PMKSY will be to adopt a ‘decentralized State level planning and projectised execution’ structure that will allow States to draw up their own irrigation development plans based on District Irrigation Plan (DIP) and State Irrigation Plan (SIP). It will be operative as convergence platform for all water sector activities including drinking water & sanitation, MGNREGA, application of science & technology etc. through comprehensive plan. State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSC) chaired by the Chief Secretary of the State will be vested with the authority to oversee its implementation and sanction projects.’

A response in the Lok Sabha further stated that, ‘the program is composed of three components namely Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (RD & GR), PMKSY (Per Drop More Crop, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and (Watershed Development) PMKSY. Ministry of Agriculture is the nodal ministry for implementing PMKSY.’

What is the investment for ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’ scheme?
The first claim is that ‘50,000 crore rupees to be invested to achieve har khet ko paani (HKKP)’.

According to a response in Lok Sabha in December 2018, Rs. 9050 crores is the outlay for the HKKP years of 2015-16 to 2019-20. Another response to a question in Rajya Sabha also states the same numbers.

The website of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation states that ‘the Command Area Development and Water Management Programme (CADWM) has been implemented as a State Sector Scheme during the XI Five Year Plan (2008-09 to 2011-12) and initial two years of XII Plan. During XII Plan, the CADWM programme has been implemented with Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP). The programme is being implemented under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) – Har Khet Ko Pani from 2015-16. The ongoing CADWM programme has now been restricted to implementation of CAD works of 99 prioritized AIBP projects.’  This proves that the scheme itself has been in existence even before the BJP government and has now been subsumed under the umbrella scheme of PMKSY.

The website also states that ‘the arrangement of funds for Central share/ or central Assistance (CA) has been made by taking loan from NABARD as per year-wise requirements. The Finance Minister has created a dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs. 20,000 crores during 2016-17. The Finance Minister in his budget speech for FY 2017-18 has now enhanced the corpus up to Rs. 40,000 crores’. Hence, it can be understood that Rs. 40,000 crores is the corpus for these programs as the long term investment fund in NABARD and not allocated directly to the HKKP component of PMKSY.

Claim: 50,000 crore rupees to be invested to achieve Har Khet Ko Paani.

Fact: The Finance Minister in his budget speech for FY 2017-18 announced that the corpus of the LTIF in NABARD, from which the central assistance for the projects under Har Khet Ko Pani is drawn, has been enhanced to Rs. 40,000 crore rupees. Further, Rs. 9050 crores is the outlay for the HKKP years of 2015-16 to 2019-20. Hence, the claim is FALSE.

How much land has been covered under irrigation?
The second claim is that ‘the program aims to cover 28.5 lakh hectare area under irrigation’.

The claim is not an achievement, but the target set for the scheme. A response in Lok Sabha in March 2018 states that 28.5 lakh hectares of area is being targeted to be brought under irrigation under the different components of the PMKSY namely AIBP, HKKP and CADWM.

The seventh volume of the Report of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income states a number of facts about the status of irrigation in the country. It states, ‘net area under irrigation also registered an increase from 21 million hectares (Mha) in 1951-52 to 66 Mha in 2012-13, and further to 68 Mha in 2014-15. This converts into gross irrigated area of 91 Mha in 2014-15. Despite this, there remains about 72 million hectares (Mha) of net sown area (52%)that  is still completely dependent on rainfall’.

The report also points out that simply increasing the area under irrigation will not be sufficient to increase crop yield because of multiple reasons. One of the reasons being major shortcomings in the prevailing irrigation system is the wide gap between irrigation potential created (IPC) and irrigation potential utilized (IPU). As against the gross created irrigation potential of about 118 Mha, the gross irrigated area used is only 96 Mha, resulting in a gap of about 22 million ha. Another reason is that gross irrigated area in the country is about 96 Mha from nearly 650 BCM (billion cubic metre) of water which gives a delta of 0.68 metre (m) per ha. of gross irrigated area. Taking 70 per cent of the average rainfall of 1,170 mm (1.17 m) as effective for crop consumptive use, the gross water use is about 1.48 m per ha. of the gross irrigated area. This is very high as compared to water use in irrigation systems in developed countries. This overuse in the country reflects low irrigation efficiency of about 35 per cent to 45 per cent in most surface irrigation systems, and about 65 per cent in case of ground water use.

Since the claim is the target under PMKSY, the claim remains unverified.

Claim: To cover 28.5 lakh hectare area under irrigation.

Fact: A total of 28.5 lakh hectares is being targeted to be brought under irrigation under the PMKSY. Since it is a target and not an achievement, the claim remains UNVERIFIED.

Is there a dedicated micro irrigation fund?
The third claim is that there is a ‘dedicated micro irrigation fund of 5000 crore rupees’.

The Press Information Bureau in release of May 2018 published that ‘the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crores for setting up of a dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with NABARD under PMKSY’.

A response in Rajya Sabha states that ‘Government has approved a dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) with an initial corpus of Rs.5000 crores for 2018-19 & 2019-20. The objective of the fund is to facilitate the States in mobilising the resources for expanding coverage of micro irrigation by taking up special and innovative projects and also for incentivising micro irrigation beyond the provisions available under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana-Per Drop More Crop (PMKSY-PDMC) to encourage farmers to install micro irrigation systems.’.

The seventh volume of the Report of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income also points out that ‘the setting up of a Micro Irrigation Fund in NABARD with a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore would enable greater achievement of “per drop more crop” by supplementing the budgetary allocations under PMKSY’.

However, it has to be noted that, micro-irrigation projects are not new to the country. As per a response in Lok Sabha in January 2018, ‘farmers are gradually getting inclined to adopt Micro Irrigation (MI) systems. A Centrally Sponsored Scheme on MI was launched in 2005-06, and was implemented in Mission mode as National Mission on Micro Irrigation (NMMI) from 2010-11. This was subsumed under On Farm Water Management (OFWM) component of National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) from 2014-15 and subsequently subsumed under ‘Per Drop More Crop’ component of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) from 2015-16’.

Claim: Dedicated micro irrigation fund of 5000 crore rupees.

Fact: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an initial Corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD. Hence, the claim is TRUE. However, emphasis and a dedicated scheme for micro irrigation is not new.

How much land is under micro irrigation?
The fourth claim is that ‘26.87 lakh hectares is brought under micro irrigation from 2014-18.

As per a response in the Lok Sabha in March 2018, 21.65 lakh hectares of area was covered under Micro irrigation after the launch of PMKSY.

The seventh volume of the Report of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income  states that ‘of the 6.4 million ha of net cultivated area under irrigation in the country, the coverage under micro-irrigation (MI) by end of 2016-17 stood at about 9.5 million ha. Since the launch of PMKSY, the coverage has accelerated and the year 2016-17 recorded a high of 8.5 lakh ha of coverage’.

Claim: 26.87 lakh hectares under micro irrigation from 2014-18.

Fact: As of March 2018, 21.65 lakh hectares of area was covered under micro irrigation. The dynamic nature of the claim means that the land under micro-irrigation would have increased between the date of the Lok Sabha answer and the claim. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

Is there facilitation for installing solar water pumps in field irrigation?
The fifth claim is that ‘government is facilitating farmers for installing solar water pumps in field irrigation’.

The operating guidelines of the PMSKY state that efforts may be made for integration of micro irrigation with solar pumping units. A solar water pump has a mini power house at its heart and consists of a calibrated and matching solar array of modules – tuned with the equivalent power of pump for that particular application. The solar water pumping system is capable of running all types of electrical water pumps with applications varying from irrigation to household demands. Irrigation pumps such as submersible, surface or deep well can also be coupled with drip irrigation systems to enhance the returns from this configuration. A 2000 Watt Peak (WP) solar water pump is capable of drawing and pumping approximately 80,000 litres of water per day from a source that is up to 10 meters deep. This is sufficient to irrigate about 1 ha of land with regular crops’.

The exact nature of this facilitation is not clear because there is no information available in the public domain regarding the same. However, the cabinet approved Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) in February 2019 under which one of the components is installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps. As per a response provided in the Rajya Sabha in January 2019, a total of 1.71 lakh solar water pumps have been installed in the country. It is also not clear as to how many of them were supported by the government.

However, it is interesting to note that the seventh volume of the Report of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income  states that ‘free electricity and/or solar powered pumps allow for indiscriminate use of water, resulting in ground water depletion’.

Claim: Facilitating farmers for installing solar water pumps in field irrigation.

Fact: The operating guidelines of PMKSY state that efforts may be made for integration of micro irrigation with solar pumping units. The exact nature of this facilitation is not known. However, the cabinet approved Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) in February 2019 under which one of the components is installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

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