The PM Kisan scheme’s rationale for monthly handouts of Rs 500 remains an enigma – By Neetisha Besra

Vidarbha was decked in an exquisite white cotton harvest this winter when I visited. I was there to learn about the rural credit situation. Countering agrarian distress requires more than just providing credit.

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, launched in February, trivializes rural indebtedness by promising 120 million small and marginal farmers a cash transfer of Rs 6,000 per annum. Preceding the general elections, this scheme is seen as a populist move to sway rural voters.

But PM Kisan is insufficient and delayed. The electoral outcome might not yield more than a marginal benefit on the voting machine.…