New Delhi : The Tamil Nadu government has exposed a major scam in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana benefiting the poor. The Tamil Nadu government found that over 110 crore payment was fraudulently withdrawn online. This all happened with the help of government officials and some local politicians.
Tamil Nadu Principal Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that in August, many people were added to the scheme. The investigation found that the Agriculture Department officials had used the online application approval system and had illegally linked several beneficiaries. The modus operandi included government officials, who used to provide logins and passwords to brokers joining new beneficiaries and paid them Rs 2000.
Principal Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that 80 officers and employees associated with agricultural schemes have been dismissed and 34 officers have been suspended. 18 people identified as brokers or agents have been arrested. The government has recovered Rs 32 crore out of Rs 110 crore.
The Tamil Nadu government claims that the remaining money will be returned within the next 40 days. Kallakurichi, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Ranipet, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and Chengalpet are the districts where the scams took place. Most of the new beneficiaries were unaware of the scheme or were not joining the scheme.
In the last week of August, two senior officials were suspended in Kalakurichi due to corruption in distribution of funds under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana. The scam came to light after complaints of non-farmers being given money from the scheme. 15 other members, including two senior officials Amudha and Rajeskaran, were suspended.