Farmers with land patta, small tea growers eligible for PM-Kisan Scheme: Cabinet

GUWAHATI, July 22: The Assam Cabinet on Thursday took a number of key decisions, including making genuine farmers with land patta and small tea growers eligible for benefits under the PM-Kisan scheme.

Assam, it may be noted, has secured the “dubious” top spot in regard to irregularities in the PM Kisan scheme, with 8.35 lakh ‘ineligible’ or ‘fake farmers’ getting benefits amounting Rs 558.01 crore.

Addressing mediapersons here, Cabinet minister Ranoj Pegu said that farmers having annual patta (eksonia, touji patta) besides farmers eligible for patta under Forest Rights Act; farmers cultivating land in Debottar land along with small tea growers and horticulture farmers would be eligible for PM-KISAN scheme benefits.

Earlier, state agriculture minister Atul Bora had categorically stated that the ineligible beneficiaries would have to return the money taken so far under the scheme. He however clarified that not all among the 8.35 lakh farmers were ineligible, as many have not been able to prove their legacy documents.

Among others, the Cabinet decided to introduce reforms in the education sector by involving Panchayati Raj institutions to ensure quality education at the grassroots level.

“District level vigilance and monitoring committee for education will be formed with the zila parishad president as chairman while a block-level vigilance and monitoring committee will be formed with anchalik panchayat president as chairman,” education minister Pegu said.

The Cabinet minister further informed that deputy commissioners have been empowered to directly give allotment for extraction of silt from river basins. “However, the existing rules of the environment and forest department will prevail in case of extraction of sand and stones,” he said.

Continuing with its agenda of introducing administrative reforms, the Cabinet approved the formation of financial committees.

“The departmental finance committee will sanction projects up to Rs 2 crore and hold a meeting every Monday. The standing finance committee headed by the chief secretary will sanction projects of Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore and hold a meeting every Tuesday,” Pegu said.

“A special standing finance committee headed by the finance minister will give appraisal of projects of Rs 10 crore to Rs 100 crore and get approved by the chief minister. The committee will hold a meeting every Thursday,” he said.

In regard to the financial sanction of projects above Rs 100 crore, the department will place projects directly in the Cabinet.

The Cabinet approved the formation of the Indigenous and Tribal Faith and Culture department with three directorates, directorate of archaeology, directorate of museum and directorate of historical and antiquarian studies to function under it.

“The Cabinet also approved the appointment of former MP and Union minister Rajen Gohain as chairman of food and civil supply corporation under food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department in the rank of Cabinet minister,” Cabinet spokesperson and minister Keshab Mahanta said.

It also approved the appointment of Prof. Nani Gopal Mahanta of Gauhati University as advisor of the education department in the rank of minister of state.

Besides, the Cabinet also approved the framework for decentralisation of power for speedy implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission. Under this, deputy commissioners have been authorised to utilise funds up to Rs 10 crore with the approval of the in-charge minister of the district.

“The Cabinet also decided to constitute a standing committee under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioner to deal with all issues related to implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in the concerned districts,” Mahanta said.

 

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