Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, an income scheme for farmers, at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

The scheme, which was announced in the Interim Budget on February 1, proposes to give farmers with land up to two hectares Rs 6,000 per year in their bank accounts in three equal instalments. Around 12 crore farmers are expected to benefit from the scheme. The scheme will cost the government Rs 75,000 crore in 2019-’20.

Modi addressed farmers through a video conference from Gorakhpur after launching the scheme. Chief Minister Adityanath, who was also present at the launch, praised Modi. “We would like to wish Prime Minister Narendra Modi as after gaining respect of the world as “champion of earth”, he was honoured with Seoul Peace Prize last week,” ANI quoted him as saying.

The first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers will be transferred on Sunday, according to PTI. Another one crore farmers are expected to be covered in the next two to three days.

A day before he launched the scheme, Modi had said it would be be a “historic day”. “This is a scheme that will give wings to the aspirations of crores of hardworking farmers of India who feed our nation,” he had tweeted.

Modi had claimed the scheme demonstrated two things – the government’s unwavering commitment to farmer welfare, and speedy decision making. “This is the new work culture of New India,” he had said.

Later in the day, Modi travelled to Prayagraj and took a dip in the Ganga during the ongoing Kumbh Mela. He also washed the feet of a group of sanitation workers.

“I’ve never seen a more cleaner Ganga previously and it has only been possible because of the Namami Gange project,” Modi said, according to News18. “The amount collected after auctioning the presents that I have received in the past four-and-a-half years as the Prime Minister are being used in the service of the Ganga.”

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