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PM Kisan Scheme: Government Tracing Ineligible Farmers Via Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence

As per reports, the government has asked all the ineligible farmers to return the money received under the scheme since December 2018, when the scheme was launched.

Abha Toppo
PM Kisan
Ineligible farmers can return the money at PM Kisan official website

In order to identify ineligible beneficiaries who, pay income tax but also receive financial assistance of Rs. 6,000 annually under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, the Centre is using modern technologies like data analytics & artificial intelligence (AI).

As per reports, the government has asked all the ineligible farmers to return the money received under the scheme since December 2018, when the scheme was launched.

It must be noted that PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is meant for poor and marginal farmers, and it excludes those who pay income tax. Physical verifications, as well as technology-driven exercises at different levels, have been started to remove ineligible beneficiaries from the list.

People aware of the issue said that the recovery notices have been issued to ineligible beneficiaries. Hindustan Times also checked the copies of notices issued to more than a dozen farmers in Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh.

A notice sent to an ineligible beneficiary said, “Income-tax payees are not eligible for this farmers scheme, but despite filing income-tax you have hidden the fact to avail the benefit”. It said that the Central government has stopped the release of the next installment to the concerned person, and asked him to refund the money as early as possible.

A farmer from Meerut district on condition of anonymity said that the recovery notices have been sent to such farmers who pay goods and services Tax (GST) on farm-related commercial activities like floriculture on a small patch of land. The farmer added, “It is quite confusing as we never applied for the scheme. We had given details to the administration as a routine exercise & the money started coming automatically.”

Union ministries of agriculture & finance and the UP government did not reply to queries on the matter.

Meanwhile, the government has finished random verifications of over 6.45 million beneficiaries in 2021-22 and found that less than 5 percent of them were ineligible.

A government official had earlier told that “Although the magnitude is not enormous, the government is using data from Aadhaar, mobile number, income tax, pension record, etc., to remove ineligible people from the list of beneficiaries”. 

Hence it appears that few people have joined the scheme even as they were not entitled because initially eligibility of farmers was based on their self-declaration, the official said.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on March 22 said that an amount of more than Rs. 4,352.49 crore, which is 2 percent of the total amount transferred to all the beneficiaries, has been reported to have been sent to ineligible beneficiaries”.

Official data shows that more than 11.78 crore beneficiaries have availed Rs. 1.82 lakh crore direct financial benefit under the PM Kisan scheme as of February 8, 2022.  

Tomar had said in Parliament that “An SOP (standard operating procedure) has been devised and circulated to states for getting the refund amount from ineligible beneficiaries and return of funds to the government”. For this, it has launched an online facility that can be used by ineligible beneficiaries to refund the money.

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