PM-Kisan norms eased for Covid, TN probes Rs 110 crore fraud

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News: Tamil Nadu government has discovered a scam amounting to over Rs 110 crore in the PM-Kisan Scheme after clearance norms under PM KISAN were relaxed due to Covid-19 lockdown.

Facts:

  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi(PM-KISAN): It is a Central Sector scheme launched in 2019.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
  • Objective: To augment the income of the farmers by providing income support to all landholding farmers’ families across the country and to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.
  • Income Support: Under the Scheme an amount of Rs.6000/- per year is transferred in three 4-monthly installments of Rs.2000/- directly into the bank accounts of the farmers subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.
  • Coverage: The Scheme initially provided income support to all Small and Marginal Farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land upto 2 hectares.Its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their land holdings.
  • Exclusion: Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as Income Tax payers in last assessment year, professionals like Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants etc and pensioners pensioners drawing at least Rs.10,000/- per month (excluding MTS/Class IV/Group D employees) among others.