Palampur, September 15
The Kangra district administration has issued recovery notices to 4,189 ineligible beneficiaries, who had received over Rs 5.72 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi since the scheme was launched in 2019.
Official sources said that these people were neither agriculturists nor farmers and had income from pension and salary. Besides, some of them were also income tax payers. In some cases, even Class 1 government officers had availed of the benefit under the scheme.
KYC update Exposed Irregularities
- The government is at present focusing on the recovery of money credited to the bank accounts of ineligible beneficiaries and no criminal cases are being registered against them
- Irregularities were detected when the Central Government asked all beneficiaries to update KYC
- Many government employees, salaried persons, income tax payers and businessmen were illegally availing of the benefit under the scheme
As soon as the scam came to light, the district administration tightened the noose around the ineligible beneficiaries of the yojana and directed them to immediately return Rs 572,88,000 to the government that was fraudulently credited to their bank accounts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the scheme for the benefit of small and marginal farmers of the country. The district administration has deputed 24 revenue officials to identify ineligible people who had availed of the benefit under the scheme and recover money from them. Till date, 722 ineligible beneficiaries have returned Rs 95.36 lakh to the state government.
A senior officer of the state government said today that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi yojana was meant only for small and marginal farmers, who had agricultural land, and government employees or pensioners, who are also taxpayers, were not eligible for it. More ineligible beneficiaries were likely to be exposed as investigation in the matter was underway.
Jawali tehsil tops the list in the district with 379 ineligible beneficiaries having availed of Rs 62.28 lakh under the scheme. In Nurpur, Rs 51.74 lakh was credited to the bank accounts of 311 ineligible persons while in Indora, 305 such persons received Rs 37.60 lakh under the scheme. In Palampur, 266 ineligible persons got Rs 45.78 lakh while in Jaisinghpur, 287 persons received Rs 34.34 lakh.
As per a notification issued by the Central Government on February 24, 2019, government employees, pensioners, present MLAs and MPs, former MLAs and MPs, income tax payers and pensioners having income above Rs 10,000 per month are not covered under the scheme. However, still government employees continued to avail of its benefit.
Nipun Jindal, Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, told The Tribune that the district administration had identified all ineligible beneficiaries of the scheme and the recovery process was underway. Tehsildars had been instructed to recover the money.
Jindal said that irregularities were detected when the Central Government made it mandatory for all beneficiaries of the scheme to the complete the KYC requirement. He added that many government employees, salaried persons, income tax payers and businessmen were illegally availing of the benefit under the scheme.
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