Guwahati, July 22: The Congress' Assam Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi on Thursday demanded an enquiry into the scandal of creating 42.16 lakh ineligible beneficiaries under the PM-KISAN scheme across the country, from whom the government has to recover Rs 2,992.75 crore.
Out of this, the highest amount of Rs 554.01 crore has to be recovered from 8.35 lakh ineligible farmers of BJP-ruled Assam, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed the Lok Sabha on July 20. Gogoi on Thursday wrote a letter to Tomar and questioned the efficacy of the entire procedure to transfer monetary benefits to farmers.
"It was revealed that 8,35,268 farmers in Assam are ineligible farmers from whom the government seeks to recover Rs 5,54,01,72,000, this amounts to one-fifth of the total amount sought to be recovered nationally.
"It is an extremely concerning figure and calls into question the efficacy of the procedure followed in identifying and verifying beneficiaries under PM-KISAN," he added. The senior Congress leader said that while it is imperative to make the procedure more robust, incorrect disbursal necessarily deprive eligible beneficiaries of the scheme.
"Welfare mechanisms are as effective as their implementation, and it is therefore necessary that a thorough enquiry be done to identify the loopholes and urgent steps be taken to remedy the situation," Gogoi said. Assam Congress Media Department Chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma on Wednesday slammed former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the then Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for the scandal that took place despite "blowing their own trumpet on zero tolerance on corruption".
Sarma is now the chief minister of the state. "Instead of preaching about zero tolerance on corruption, the government should practise what it preaches so that the people are benefited and the schemes become successful. Otherwise, the state will make its mark in dubious distinctions instead of succeeding in climbing towards the among the top states in the country," she had added.
The Centre has to recover Rs 2,992.75 crore as on July 15 from 42.16 lakh ineligible beneficiary farmers registered for the central scheme PM-KISAN, with the highest amount to be recovered from Assam, Tomar had said.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, launched in 2019, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to the eligible farmer families, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.