Nagpur: A shocking revelation, as many as 15,241 ineligible farmers in Nagpur, Bhandara, and Gondia availed the financial assistance of Rs 2,000 under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme.
Now, the respective district administrations have started recovering the aid from these ineligible farmers. So far, aid of Rs 11,32,04,000 was paid to 15,241 ineligible farmers in these three districts. Of these ineligible farmers, as many as 9,652 were found to be Income Tax payers. As per the norms of the scheme, Income Tax paying farmers are not eligible to receive aid.
This shocking information was revealed in response to an application filed under Right to Information Act by activist Abhay Kolarkar. He had sought information about the scheme for the period between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020. The RTI reply further said that the number of farmers who got financial assistance under the PM KISAN scheme was higher at the time of release of the first installment. However, gradually, as the number of ineligible farmers came to fore, the number of beneficiary farmers came down in Nagpur and Bhandara districts. In Gondia district, the decline in number of beneficiary farmers can be seen in the third installment onwards. In Nagpur district, as many as 4,712 farmers who got the benefit of the scheme initially were found to be Income Tax payers. Including these, there were total 6,268 ineligible farmers who got aid of Rs 4,87,84,000 under the scheme. Now, the administration has taken up drive to recover the aid given ‘by mistake’, reveals the response to Kolarkar’s application.
In Bhandara district, total 3,803 farmers were found to be ineligible. They included 2,357 Income Tax payers, and 1,446 ineligible on other grounds. The Income Tax paying farmers got aid of Rs 2,04,16,000 and other ineligible farmers got Rs 76,90,000 till they were found ineligible. The recovery of aid distributed under the scheme is in progress. So far, 332 farmers have returned Rs 29,84,000, as per the official information.
In Gondia district, the farmers found to be ineligible included 2,583 Income Tax payers and 2,587 ineligible on other grounds. The Income Tax paying farmers got aid of Rs 2,37,88,000, and other 2,587 ineligible farmers got Rs 1,25,26,000. Here, too, recovery is in progress and 848 farmers have returned Rs 79,82,000 so far.