ITANAGAR: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has criticised the Arunachal Pradesh government for multiple shortcomings in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) yojana.
The CAG, in its report presented in the Assembly on Thursday, identified “several discrepancies” during the execution of the central scheme within the state.
The CAG report criticised the lack of an approved method to identify beneficiaries in line with state guidelines, causing issues in scheme implementation. It noted that eligibility primarily relied on self-declaration forms, leading to “ineligible beneficiaries” receiving scheme benefits.
The report also highlighted that the state department could not justify or explain how potential beneficiaries were determined. Consequently, more beneficiaries were registered in two sample districts than the total available, and the scheme’s coverage and registration status remained unclear.
Launched in February 2019, the PM-KISAN yojana aimed to provide income support and risk mitigation for farmers. Under the scheme, eligible farmers receive income support to cover expenses related to agriculture, allied activities, and domestic needs. This scheme, funded entirely by the Centre, operates through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode, offering income support of Rs 6000 annually to eligible farmers across India in three equal instalments.
Additionally, the report noted that the “self-registration process” was not effectively executed, resulting in many pending validations and undue rejections. Furthermore, 373 beneficiaries were registered without proper verification, and unverified beneficiaries received benefits totalling Rs 28.22 lakh. Additionally, Rs 46.98 lakh in benefits went to 572 ineligible beneficiaries.
The report also uncovered an excess disbursement of Rs 95 lakh from PFMS-linked scheme accounts, without a valid explanation from the state department.
Furthermore, the state’s project monitoring unit was inactive, and there was a significant shortfall in fulfilling the mandated ‘five percent physical verification’ as per scheme guidelines.
To address these issues, the CAG report recommended that the state government develop an approved alternate mechanism for identifying eligible beneficiaries, as outlined in the guidelines. It also urged the government to enhance the verification process to ensure the prompt registration of eligible beneficiaries and the rejection of ineligible ones.