So far, 5.38 lakh beneficiaries of the PM Kisan scheme in Tamil Nadu have been found ineligible and a total of ₹61 crore has been recovered from them, Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
A total of 47, 41,932 farmers enrolled in the scheme in Tamil Nadu as on September 20, Mr. Tomar said.
In a written reply to DMK MP P. Wilson’s queries whether more such fake beneficiaries had benefited from the scheme across the country, Mr. Tomar said that was not the case, and reports of ineligible persons registered in the scheme had been received from the government of Tamil Nadu.
“Of 5.95 lakh beneficiaries’ accounts verified till September 15, 5.38 lakh beneficiaries were found ineligible,” Mr. Tomar said.
The Minister further said some unscrupulous elements had misused the login-ID and password credentials of district officials for bulk booking of ineligible persons. Contractual staff engaged by the Agriculture Department were found involved in this illegal activity, he added.
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“The services of 96 contractual staff were terminated, departmental action initiated against 34 officers for enrolling ineligible beneficiaries and three block level officers and five assistant agricultural officers, who were found responsible for misuse of passwords, were suspended,” he said.
The Minister further informed that FIRs had been filed in 13 districts and 52 persons, including contractual staff, had been arrested.
“Action has been initiated to recover the amount transferred to ineligible persons from their bank accounts through the respective banks and to refund the amount to the Central Government’s account. So far, ₹61 crore has been recovered,” he added.