India News | Over Rs 4,350 Cr transferred to non-eligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme; Notice issued to states for reimbursement: government
New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) Over Rs 4,350 crore has been transferred to ineligible recipients under the PM-KISAN scheme and notice has been issued to states for refunds, the government said on Tuesday.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN), which was announced in February 2019, is a central scheme that aims to provide financial assistance to landlord farming families, subject to certain exclusion criteria, for their to cover expenses related to agriculture and related activities as well as domestic needs.
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Under this program, an amount of Rs 6,000 per year is transferred in three four-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 directly to farmers’ bank accounts.
In response to a written question to Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that “an amount of more than Rs 4,352.49 crore, or 2% of the total amount transferred to all beneficiaries, would have been transferred to ineligible recipients.”.
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He was responding to a question on “whether it is a fact that more than Rs 2,500 crore of PM-KISAN program funds have been transferred to ineligible recipients.”
Tomar said an SOP has been designed and disseminated to states to obtain reimbursement for ineligible recipients and return of funds to the government.
“Furthermore, a facility has been created on the web portal through which any individual farmer can repay the money through the NTRP system. So far, an amount of Rs 296.67 crore has been recovered from non-eligible recipients “, said Tomar.
The Ministry informed that farmers’ eligibility was initially based on their self-declaration and after verification of their details by the State/UTs. In addition, only essential fields have been made mandatory for registration.
Shortly after the successful launch of benefit transfer to farmers through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system, rigorous checks and balances were added using technology and developing standard operating procedures ( SOP), modules, validation by other systems (UIDAI, income tax), among others.
Additionally, integration with retirees and employee record has also been enabled.
“Aadhaar authentication has been made mandatory in PM-KISAN from December 1, 2019 with exemption for the states of Assam, Meghalaya and J&K,” Tomar said.
Funds are released under PM-KISAN based on data received from States/UTs which goes through many levels of validation including Aadhaar authentication, he added.
The purpose of making Aadhaar authentication mandatory in PM-KISAN was to further strengthen and refine the system’s database by introducing another level of validation, Tomar said.
“Aadhaar authentication, although it increases the likelihood of the recipient being eligible, does not guarantee it as there are other reasons such as program exclusion criteria which may render a recipient ineligible despite being Aadhaar authenticated” , said the Minister.
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