The Centre is recovering nearly Rs 3,000 crore which was transferred to over 42 lakh ineligible farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme, the government has told Parliament.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, the Centre transfers Rs 6,000 each year to farmers across the country in three equal instalments. The scheme however has an eligibility criteria like the farmer should not an income tax payee. In an answer to the Parliament on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has admitted that Rs 2,992 crore is to be recovered from 42.16 lakh ineligible farmers who got money under the PM-KISAN scheme.
The maximum number of such ineligible farmers who got PM-KISAN money were in Assam (8.35 lakh) followed by Tamil Nadu (7.22 lakh), Punjab (5.62 lakh), Maharashtra (4.45 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (2.65 lakh) and Gujarat (2.36 lakh). The money to be recovered is to the tune of Rs 554 Cr in Assam, Rs 437 Cr in Punjab, Rs 358 Cr in Maharashtra, Rs 340 Cr in Tamil Nadu, Rs 258 Cr in UP and Rs 220 Cr in Gujarat, as per the reply in Parliament.
“The structure of the scheme inherently comprises of mechanism for exclusion of errors on the basis of continuous verification and validation of data of beneficiaries by various authorities like Aadhaar, PFMS, or Income Tax database. However, during the process of verification it was found that benefit of the Scheme was transferred to some ineligible beneficiaries including some income tax payee farmers,” Tomar has told the Parliament.
He said some special measures have been taken by the government to ensure that the PM-KISAN funds are not being misused and the scheme is properly implemented “in order to benefit genuine farmers”. Many states have sent notices to the ineligible farmers to recover the money.
“Standard Operation Guidelines have been issued for recovering money from ineligible beneficiaries. Standard Operational Guidelines for identification of Income Tax Payees have been prepared and circulated to the States. Caution Advisory has been sent to the States to adopt measures during the registration and verification of farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme and Standard Operational Guidelines for Physical Verification of PM-KISAN beneficiaries have been circulated to the State Governments,” Tomar listed out.