Assam Cong demands CBI probe into PM-Kisan anomalies

GUWAHATI, July 22: The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has asked the Centre to institute a CBI inquiry into the alleged anomalies in distribution of financial aid under the PM-Kisan scheme to farmers in the state.

Addressing mediapersons in New Delhi on Thursday, APCC president Ripun Bora demanded a CBI probe into the “scam of selecting and disbursing funds to 11.72 lakh ineligible farmers and another five lakh farmers who are not in existence in the field.”

Calling for exemplary punishment to those involved in the alleged scam, Bora further demanded that the funds paid to the ineligible farmers be returned to the government and the same be distributed among genuine farmers under the scheme.

A sum of Rs 6000 per farmer was granted under the scheme in the country during the financial year 2019-20.

“The Assam government had selected approximately 36 lakh farmer beneficiaries under this scheme as per the statement of state agriculture minister in the review meeting held in Guwahati on July 5, 2021 in the presence of Union agriculture minister of state Purushattam Rupala,” Bora said.

“The money was accordingly disbursed to the beneficiary farmers. Thereafter, there was a serious hue and cry in Assam when it came to light that most of the beneficiaries were not genuine and that their names were included in the beneficiary list by submitting false documents,” he said.

“In the said review meeting, the state agriculture minister admitted that out of the 36 lakh beneficiaries, only 19.47 lakh were found genuine while 11.72 lakh were not entitled to benefits under the scheme,” the Congress leader said.

The Assam government, Bora said, has not yet been able to identify the five lakh beneficiaries from the selected list “as they did not exist”.

“This is a serious scam and the question arises how the money sanctioned for poor farmers can be distributed to undeserving persons,” he asked.

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.

IANS

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