Bhubaneswar, Nov 27 (LocalWire): The state government today trimmed down the number of ineligible beneficiaries, covered under the government’ flagship Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) direct benefit transfer scheme, to around 46,000.
Of the 51 lakh beneficiaries, 45,965 ‘ineligible’ beneficiaries reaped benefits from the direct cash transfer, the state agriculture and farmers’ empowerment minister Arun Kumar Sahoo told the Assembly today.
The fake beneficiaries were directed to voluntarily give back the sum in the state government’s bank account.
If they failed to do so, penal action will be initiated against them under Orissa Public Demand Recovery (OPDR) Act. Some of them have already deposited the money in the government’s bank account, he said.
The minister’s statement is a massive climb down from the earlier figure rolled out by the government.
Earlier, the government said 3.41 lakh ‘ineligible’ beneficiaries, including serving and retired government employees, were covered under the scheme.
The fake beneficiaries included 9,000 minors and 12,000 wealthy farmers who were not entitled to the benefits, the government said earlier in September.
Ahead of the 2019 twin polls, the state government had launched the scheme for the larger growth of the farming sector and agrarian economy of the state.
The beneficiary farmers including farm labourers are being provided Rs 10,000 per annum for two crops (Rs 5,000 for Kharif and Rs 5,000 for Rabi crop) under the scheme.