RDO to enquire into alleged fraud in crop insurance

Seeking action:Farmers from Oriyur at Ramanathapuram Collectorate on Monday.Photo: L. BalachandarL_Balachandar  

Collector S. Natarajan has ordered an enquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) into the alleged fraud, misappropriation of money in the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Society (PACCS) and false claims made under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) in Oriyur group.

After Siva Mahalingam, farmer and BJP state executive committee member and R. Sasikumar, a farmer from Oriyur, presented a memorandum on public grievance redressal day here on Monday, with details of irregularities and false claims made for crop insurance under the PMFBY for the year 2016-17, the Collector instantly referred the memorandum for RDO enquiry.

“The RDO has been asked to enquire into all allegations and submit a report,” Mr. Natarjan told reporters as the farmers have alleged that crop insurance claimed for insured area was more than 300 acres of reconciled area in Oriyur group.

They have also alleged that the fraud was done by the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) in collusion with officials.

The total cultivable area in the group was 750 hectares but the claim for crop insurance was made for 900 hectares, they alleged. Finding the disparity between the reconciled area and insured area, the Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited (AICIL) denied 100% compensation and the affected farmers were given compensation of Rs. 19,006 per acre against full compensation of Rs. 21,200.

A church priest in Oriyur had raised paddy in 17 acres during 2016-17 but paid premium for 67 acres and received compensation of more than Rs. 12 lakh, they said. The flex board installed by the PACCS at Sirukambaiyur at the instance of the Collector, showed multiple entries of farmers with the same survey numbers, they alleged.

The name of P. Arumugam, who is the vice president of the society, figured in three places with three different areas of cultivation, they said.

They also alleged corruption and misappropriation of money in farm loan and jewel loan waivers during 2012-13 and held the PACCS responsible for the ‘fraud’. Mr Balakrishnan has been serving as secretary for more than 20 years, they also pointed out.