In a recent revelation, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report for the financial year ending March 2022, which was presented in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly on 14 September 2023, has shed light on concerns surrounding the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme.
The PM-KISAN Scheme, aimed at providing an annual financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per farmer family, distributed in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 every four months, has been flagged due to instances of non-compliance and irregularities.
Initially, the scheme exclusively targeted Small & Marginal Farmers (SMF) with combined landholdings of up to two hectares. However, in June 2019, revised guidelines were introduced, extending the scheme’s benefits to all farmer families, regardless of the size of their landholdings.
The primary eligibility criteria for the scheme revolve around cultivable land, with non-agricultural land use explicitly excluded. Additionally, individuals falling within specific categories of higher economic status are deemed ineligible.
Of significant concern is the revelation within the CAG report that a total of Rs 1,04,62,000 had been disbursed to 744 registered government employee beneficiaries as of September 2021 in Nagaland. Among these beneficiaries, 662 were still actively employed, while 82 had retired.
The CAG report further highlighted issues with 26 beneficiaries from the sampled records, as they were either certified by Village Councils as untraceable or found not to own any cultivable land in their respective villages. Notably, 20 of these cases were identified in Mokokchung, and 6 in Mon.