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PM-KISAN & Phantom Benificeries

by Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh
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Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAmman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is an initiative by the government of India in which all farmers will get up to Rs.6000/- per year as minimum income support. The initiative was announced by Piyush Goyal during the 2019 interim union budget of India on 1st February 2019. The scheme will cost Rs.75, 000 crore per annum and came into effect from December 2018. Rs.6000/- per year will be paid to each eligible farmer in three instalments and will be deposited directly to their bank accounts.

The scheme was first conceived and implemented by Government of Telegana as the Rythu Bandhu scheme, when certain amounts is given directly to the eligible farmers. The scheme has accolades from various organizations for its successful implementation, including World Bank. Many economists suggest that this type of investment support is better than loan waivers. With the positive outcome of this scheme, Government of India wanted to implement it as a nationwide project and it was announced in 2019 interim union budget on 1st February by Piyush Goyal. For 2018-2019, Rs 20,000/- crore was allocated under this scheme. For the year 2019-2020, the scheme has been revised to benefit nearly 2 crore beneficiaries by allocating Rs.75, 000/-corore by central Government. On 24 February 2019. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur by transferring the first instalment of Rs.2000/- each to over one crore farmers.
The objectives of the scheme are: (i) with a view to augment the income of the small and marginal farmers (SMFs), the Government has launched a new central sector scheme namely “Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAmman Nidhi(PM-KISAN) “ (ii) The PM-KISAN scheme aims to supplement the financial needs of the SMFs in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate fields commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of the each crop cycle (iii) This would also protect them from failing in the clutches of moneylenders for meeting such expenses in the farm activity. The eligibility criteria are: (i) in the database, the land owner’s name, gender (ii) Social classification (ST/SC) (iii) Aadhaar number, bank account number and mobile number etc. ((iv) land record details (v) Jan-Dhan Bank Account number, Aadhaar and mobile number will help in identifying eligible beneficiaries and incomplete claimants (vi) the scheme is sponsored by the Central government. Therefore the farmers have to be Citizens of the Country. The documents required for the registratio are: citizenship certificate, landholding papers, Aadhaar card, and Bank Account details. The categories of higher economic status will not be eligible for benefit under the scheme like all Institutional Land holders, farmer family in which one or more of its member belong categories like: former and present holders of constitutional post; former and present Minister/state Minister and former or present member of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha/ state Assemblies/ state Legislative Council ; former and present Mayors of Municipal Corporation ; former and present chairpersons of District panchayats; all superannuated/retired persons whose monthly pensions is Rs.10,000/- or more. All serving or retired officers and employees of Central Government Ministries/ offices/Departments and its field units Central/State PSEs and attached offices/ autonomous Institutions under government as well as regular employee of local bodies. All persons who paid income tax in last assessment year and professionals like Doctors, Engineers Lawyers, Chartered Accountants and Architects.
Such a beautiful scheme of India Government for the welfare of Small and Marginal Farmers(SMFs), has been mired in controversy in Bishnupur District, Manipur, since names of non-existing villagers were found in the list of beneficiaries under 2018 PM-KISAN. Nodal officer of PM-KISAN, Bishnupur district however stated that some beneficiaries who are not residents of Khoijuman Khullen, Khoijuman Khunou( Kwashiphai) and Nachou , villages under Nachou Zila Parishad of Bishnupur Block were wrongly entered in the list of benificeries. Explaining in detail, the nodal officer stated that inclusion of beneficiaries from other districts/ villages was due to the “ miss-match “ of beneficiaries in the web portal as there were similar village names in different districts of our state. However, in the current case names of many Pangals (Muslims) have been found in the list of PM-KISAN beneficiaries of the above mention villages where not a single pangal (Muslim) family is existed. As such, there is a strong suspicion of some people committing gross manipulation. It is also reported from certain reliable sources that such fraudulent is found in other districts of Manipur too. One, interesting question arises after the clarification from nodal officer PM-KISAN of Bishnupur district that how come miss-match in the entry of beneficiaries name crop up though similar village names are there in our state? In the registration form it’s clearly mention the name of the State, District, Sub-Division, Block, and Village No. Zilla Parishad,Gram Panchayat,PO & PS with Pin code of Post Office apart from personal information like Aadhaar, Pan Card, Mobile number and many other documents mandatory for the purpose. At the same time registration is done through respective district authority. If this is so then, how miss-match is possible? This pandora box was first opened on 12th June 2020 by KYVO,(Kwashiphai Youths Volunteer Organisation) a very pro-active Organisation working to uphold the welfare of the people.Reacting to the clarification of nodal officer, on 14th June 2020, KYVO ( Kwashiphai Youths Volunteer Organisation) said,the statement of nodal officer PM-KISAN, Bishnupur District is a complete flirt ,misleading the innocent farmers and unfounded.This seems to highlight that there are ghost beneficiaries in this PM-KISAN not only in Bishnupur District but also in the whole state. Members of KYVO also expressed that they have seen a little ray of positive hope that such fraudulent may be checked as honorable CM Shri N.Biren Singh has listened to the grievances of farmers and held a meeting on 8th July with the members of Bharatiya Kissan Sangha ,Manipur Prant to curb the menance of ghost benificeries in PM-KISAN. Under the initiative of DC Bishnupur and Thoubal,eight persons involved in the malepractice were reported arrest.Three of them registered 933 ghost benificeries in Bishnupur district.The king pin is a person who was working at the Directorate of Agriculture who used State admin PM-KISAN login credentials to login at the PM-KISAN web portal.He allegedly created a fake profile of a person working as LDC at Bishnupur.The other five with his help registered 33,800 ghost benificeries in Thoubal & other Districts as reported by local media but as per the report of leading local dailies, five of them have been released on bail on 20th July by CJM Imphal west on the ground that the Counsels of the accused claimed that the evidence against their clients was baseless. Is it the right punitive punishment for such a henious crime? This is not the end of the story rather just the begining.Concern authorities need further combing excercise to nab many more such lice.It may be mentioned that the union agriculture ministry had recently asked the Assam government for a report and a probe into a potential fraud in PM-KISAN, which allowed non-farmers to get cash in the state as authorities halted further payments.

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