The implementation of a farmer scheme known as PM-KISAN by the Meghalaya government was found deficient in many respects.
As per PM-KISAN guidelines, potential beneficiaries of the scheme are necessarily required to possess cultivable land. In order to avail the scheme, the beneficiary was required to furnish proof of land holding by way of land documents.
Due to the special nature of land holding in Meghalaya, the beneficiaries were allowed to produce documents such as certificate, in lieu of land documents, duly certified by the headman, Nokma and Doloi, as proof of cultivable land in possession of the beneficiary.
However, audit scrutiny of PM-KISAN data for the period from 2018-19 to 2020-21 showed that out of the total 1,85,526 beneficiaries covered under the scheme, declaration of cultivable land was available for 1,11,572 (60 per cent) of the total beneficiaries of PM-KISAN.
This was revealed in the CAG report on social and economic sectors which was tabled in the Assembly last week.
As per the CAG report, the total cultivable land declared by the beneficiaries of PM-KISAN measured 9,72,477.06 hectares.
Records of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics showed that the total cropped area in Meghalaya was 3,12,166 hectares in 2018-19 and 3,09,424 hectares in 2020-21.
This was in stark contrast to the total cultivable land of 9,72,477.06 hectares in possession of the 1,11,572 beneficiaries covered under PM KISAN.
The CAG report also mentioned that 73,954 beneficiaries did not furnish any declaration of cultivable land being possessed by them.
“Thus, the PM-KISAN benefits apparently have been extended to cover cultivable land far in excess of the total cultivable land of the State,” the report said.
It also said that the land area being covered under the scheme exceeded the total cultivable land by a whopping 6.63 lakh hectares (214 per cent).
The CAG report also concluded that the genuineness of the beneficiaries in Meghalaya being covered under the PM-Kisan Scheme is doubtful and the risk of claims by ineligible beneficiaries cannot be ruled out.
“Further, the adequacy of the scrutiny done by District Agriculture Officers concerned and the Department of Agriculture before registering the beneficiary under the scheme was questionable,” the report added.