Benefits under PM-KISAN scheme worth Rs 1,364 crore have been wrongly disbursed to more than 20 lakh ineligible beneficiaries and income tax payer farmers, a report said. The detail surfaced in response provided by Agriculture Ministry against an RTI query by activist Venkatesh Nayak.
Till July 2020, around 20.5 lakh farmers, who should have been included in the scheme, received payouts under the PM-KISAN scheme, reported The Hindu. According to Agriculture Ministry, 56 per cent of undeserving beneficiaries belonged to the 'income tax payee' category, while the rest belonged to 'ineligible farmers' category.
However, the report stated, 72 per cent of the payout amount went to income tax payees, indicating that this category received money for multiple instalments before they were found to be ineligible and removed from the scheme's beneficiary database.
Punjab had the highest number of such discrepancies, accounting for 23 per cent farmers who wrongly received funds under PM-KISAN scheme, the daily reported. Maharashtra saw 17 per cent of these cases, whereas Assam had 14 per cent of the cases. Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh account for 8 per cent cases of each.
All wrong payments in Punjab and Assam went to those in the 'ineligible farmers' category. Maharashtra, meanwhile, had the highest number of beneficiaries under the 'income tax payee' farmers.
The daily reported that state agriculture departments have begun to recover the amount disbursed to undeserving beneficiaries.
PM-KISAN is the ambitious scheme rolled out the Modi government to disburse monetary help directly to farmers. Under this scheme, Rs 6,000 is transferred to farming families every year in three tranches. There are 11 crore total beneficiaries registered under the scheme. The funds are meant to help farmers with financial troubles hindering agricultural activities.
Certain classes of farmers are exempt from receiving the benefits of the scheme. If a member of a farming family paid income tax, received a monthly pension above Rs 10,000, held a constitutional position, was a serving or retired government employee, was a professional, or an institutional landholder, then they were not included in the s