Modi to release PM KISAN funds today; Opposition protests
- November 15, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Modi to release PM KISAN funds today; Opposition protests
Subject : Schemes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the 15th instalment of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKISAN) scheme at a function in Jharkhand on Wednesday. The Opposition has alleged that the instalment was deliberately delayed to coincide with the ongoing Assembly elections in five States and it is a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).
About PM KISAN:
- Under the scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal instalments, directly into the bank accounts of all landholding farmers irrespective of the size of their land holdings.
- It was launched in February 2019.
Funding and Implementation:
- It is a Central Sector Scheme with 100% funding from the Government of India.
- It is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Identification of Beneficiaries:
- The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiary farmer families rests with the State / UT Governments.
- To supplement the financial needs of the Small and Marginal Farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of each crop cycle.
- To protect them from falling in the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses and ensure their continuance in the farming activities.
PM-KISAN Mobile App:
- The PM-KISAN Mobile App developed and designed by the National Informatics Centre in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been launched.
- The farmers can view the status of their application, update or carry out corrections of their Aadhaar cards and also check the history of credits to their bank accounts.
What is Model Code Of Conduct (MCC)?
- The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the ECI to regulate political parties and candidates prior to elections.
- It helps EC in keeping with the mandate it has been given under Article 324 of the Constitution, which gives it the power to supervise and conduct free and fairelections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
- The MCC is operational from the date on which the election schedule is announced until the date of the result announcement.
- The origin of the MCC lies in the Assembly elections of Kerala in 1960, when the State administration prepared a ‘Code of Conduct’ for political actors.
- Subsequently, in the Lok Sabha elections in 1962, the ECI circulated the code to all recognized political parties and State governments, and it was wholeheartedly followed.
- It was in 1991 after repeated flouting of the election norms and continued corruption, the EC decided to enforce the MCC more strictly.
MCC for Political Parties and Candidates:
- Criticism of political parties must be limited to their policies and programmes, past record, and work.
- Activities such as using caste and communal feelings to secure votes, criticizing candidates on the basis of unverified reports, bribing or intimidation of voters, etc. are prohibited.
- Parties must inform the local police authorities of the venue and time of any meeting in time to enable the police to make adequate security arrangements.
- If two or more candidates plan processions along the same route, the political parties must establish contact in advance to ensure that the processions do not clash.
- Carrying and burning effigies representing members of other political parties is not allowed.
- Only voters and those with a valid pass from the EC are allowed to enter polling booths.
- All authorized party workers at polling booths should be given suitable badges or identity cards.
- Identity slips supplied by them to voters shall be on plain (white) paper and shall not contain any symbol, name of the candidate or the name of the party.
- The EC will appoint observers to whom any candidates may report problems regarding the conduct of the election.
Party in Power:
- The MCC incorporated certain restrictions in 1979, regulating the conduct of the party in power. Ministers must not combine official visits with election work or use official machinery for the same.
- The party must avoid advertising at the cost of the public exchequer or using official mass media for publicity on achievements to improve chances of victory in the elections.
- From the time elections are announced by Commission, the ministers and other authorities must not announce any financial grants, or promise any construction of roads, provision of drinking water, etc. Other parties must be allowed to use public spaces and rest houses, and these must not be monopolized by the party in power.
- The ECI directs that political parties and candidates must adhere to the following guidelines while releasing election manifestos for any election (Parliament/State Legislatures):
- The election manifesto shall not contain anything against the ideals and principles enshrined in the Constitution.
- Political parties should avoid making promises that are likely to vitiate the purity of the election process or exert undue influence on voters.
- Manifestos should reflect the rationale for promises and broadly indicate the ways and means to meet the financial requirements for it.
- Manifestos shall not be released during the prohibitory period, as prescribed under Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951, for single or multi-phase elections.
Some Recent Additions to the MCC:
- The regulation of opinion polls and exit polls during the period notified by the ECI.
- The prohibition of advertisements in print media on polling day and one day prior to it unless the contents are pre-certified by screening committees.
- The restriction on government advertisements featuring political functionaries during the election period.
Is the MCC Legally Enforceable?
- Though the MCC does not have any statutory backing, it has come to acquire strength in the past decade because of its strict enforcement by the EC.
- Certain provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions in other statutes such as the IPC 1860, CrPC 1973, and RPA 1951.
- In 2013, the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice recommended making the MCC legally binding and recommended that the MCC be made a part of the RPA 1951.
- However, the ECI argues against making it legally binding. According to it, elections must be completed within a relatively short time or close to 45 days and judicial proceedings typically take longer, therefore it is not feasible to make it enforceable by law.