Tamil Nadu Agriculture Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi on Tuesday said that some 500,000 fake beneficiaries have got Rs 110 crore from the PM-Kisan Nidhi scheme. The Department has recovered around Rs 32 crore so far and the rest will be recovered soon.
Speaking to reporters he said, 34 government officials have been suspended and 80 computer operators and other private staff dismissed. As per the probe conducted by the department ineligible persons in 13 districts have availed the cash assistance providing false information.
Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) is probing the scam. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday said action is being taken against those involved in the scandal.
“The Government is zero tolerant about the misuse of the Government scheme (PM-Kisan Nidhi) and all those responsible for this irregularity will be punished; the entire amount will be recovered from ineligible beneficiaries soon,” he said.
Under the PM-Kisan Scheme small farmers with two hectare or less land are given Rs 6,000 a year as assistance in three equal instalments.
He said the government will see to it that not one genuine farmer would be affected and that the scam amount will be recovered by the government by freezing the bank accounts of fraudsters.
Bedi said the government will recover the entire scam amount in a month’s time and the scamsters will be arrested and action will be taken against them.
The scamsters – officials and others- had used the computer passwords of officials to feed in wrong data and illegally cash in on the scheme.