The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has criticised the Arunachal Pradesh government for "several deficiencies" while implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) yojana in the northeastern state.
The CAG in its report which was tabled in the Assembly recently highlighted "several discrepancies" while implementing the central scheme in the state.
The scheme was launched in February 2019 and aimed at providing income support and risk mitigation for farmers. Under the scheme, eligible farmers get income support for meeting expenses related to agriculture and allied activities, as well as for domestic needs.
The scheme with cent per cent Central funding operated under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.
Under the scheme, income support of Rs 6000 per annum is provided to all eligible farmers across the country in three equal instalments.
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The CAG in its report alleged that there was no duly approved alternate mechanism for identification of beneficiaries as per the guidelines developed in the state hampering proper implementations of the scheme.
The CAG in its audit report covering the period from 2019-20 to 2020-21 said that in the absence of an approved mechanism for the eligibility of farmers, the sole criteria for eligibility was self-declaration forms, due to which many "ineligible beneficiaries were extended the benefits" of the scheme.
"The state nodal department could not provide justification or basis for determining potential beneficiaries in the state. Due to this, more than the total available beneficiaries registered in two of the four sample districts. Further, coverage of the scheme and beneficiaries yet to be registered could not be determined," the report alleged.
The report further said that the "self-registration process was not properly implemented" in the state leading to undue rejections and 90 per cent of registration attempts pending validation.
"A total of 373 beneficiaries were registered without verification of appropriate authorities and benefits of Rs 28.22 lakh has already been extended to the unverified beneficiaries. Total benefits amounting to Rs 46.98 lakh has been extended to 572 ineligible beneficiaries," the report said.
It added that there was excess disbursement of Rs 95 lakh from Public Financial Management System (PFMS) linked scheme accounts for which the state nodal department could not justify.
The state project monitoring unit did not undertake any activity and there was a severe shortage in coverage of 'five per cent physical verification' to be undertaken as per the scheme guidelines, the report added.
The CAG report recommended the state government develop a proper alternate mechanism duly approved by the ministry as stipulated in the guidelines for the identification of eligible beneficiaries. It also suggested to made efforts to strengthen the verification process so as to ensure that eligible beneficiaries are registered promptly and ineligible ones are rejected.
"The state-level project monitoring unit should take a more active role in the monitoring of the scheme and mandatory five per cent physical verification should be completed timely and actionable findings should be acted upon," the report added.
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