Over Rs 4,350 cr transferred to ineligible beneficiaries under PM-KISAN scheme: Govt

AgenciesUpdated: Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 09:07 PM IST
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Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 6,000 per year is transferred in three four-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 directly into the bank accounts of the farmers. / Representational Image | File photo

More than Rs 4,350 crore has been transferred to ineligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme and an advisory has been issued to states for getting 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 at providing financial assistance to landholding farmer families, subject to certain exclusion criteria, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.

Under the scheme, an amount of Rs 6,000 per year is transferred in three four-monthly installments of Rs 2,000 directly into the bank accounts of the farmers.

In reply to a written question in Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, ''an amount of more than Rs 4,352.49 crore which is 2 per cent of the total amount transferred to all the beneficiaries has been reported to have been transferred to ineligible beneficiaries''.

He was replying to a query on ''whether it is a fact that over Rs 2,500 crore of PM-KISAN scheme funds were transferred to ineligible beneficiaries''.

Tomar said an SOP has been devised and circulated to states for getting refund from ineligible beneficiaries and return of funds to the government.

''Besides, a facility has been created on the web-portal through which any individual farmer can refund the money through NTRP system. So far, an amount of Rs 296.67 crore has been recovered from ineligible beneficiaries,'' Tomar said.

The ministry informed that the eligibility of farmers was initially based on their self-declaration and after verification of their details by State/UTs. Also only essential fields were made mandatory for registration.

Soon after successful initiation of transfer of benefits to farmers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) System, rigorous checks and balances were added using technology and by developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), modules, validation by other systems (UIDAI, Income Tax), among others.

Further, integration with pensioners and employee record has also been enabled.

''Aadhaar authentication was made mandatory in PM-KISAN with effect from December 1, 2019 with an exemption to the states of Assam, Meghalaya, and J&K,'' Tomar said.

The funds are released under PM-KISAN based on the data received from the States/ UTs which goes through many levels of validation including Aadhaar authentication, he added.

The purpose of making the Aadhaar authentication mandatory in PM-KISAN was to strengthen and further refine the database of the scheme by introducing another level of validation, Tomar said.

''Aadhaar authentication, though increases the probability of the beneficiary being eligible, it does not guarantee it as there are other reasons such as the exclusion criteria of the scheme which can render a beneficiary ineligible despite being Aadhaar authenticated,'' the minister said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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