GUWAHATI, July 21: The Opposition Congress has lashed out at the ruling BJP government for Assam securing the “dubious” top spot in regard to irregularities in the PM Kisan scheme, with over eight lakh ineligible farmers taking funds amounting Rs 558 crore from the scheme.
Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar, while replying to a question on the 2019-launched PM Kisan scheme in the Lok Sabha, admitted that irregularities have taken place and that Rs 2992.75 crore of scheme money went to ineligible farmers in the country.
Of this, the minister told the House that 8.35 lakh ‘ineligible’ or fake farmers in Assam took Rs 558.01 crore from the scheme, which is the highest amount.
“Every scheme should be investigated and fake beneficiaries weeded out so that the money can be given to deserving beneficiaries. Instead of preaching zero tolerance on corruption, the Assam government should practice what it preaches so that schemes become successful,” a statement issued here by the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, said on Wednesday.
“Earlier when the Congress had raised questions on irregularities in the selection of farmers in the PM Kisan scheme, our contention was rejected forthwith by the then BJP government, which was blowing its own trumpet on zero tolerance against corruption. Is it not now apparent that these irregularities point to corruption within the government?” it stated.
The Opposition party demanded that the funds given to the ineligible farmers should be recovered and distributed among deserving and genuine farmers, after screening them properly. “We hope the chief minister takes firm steps in this matter,” it said.