Bhubaneswar, September 17 (LocalWire): The state government has detected over 3.41 fake beneficiaries of its flagship Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Direct Benefit Transfer scheme.
The ‘ineligible’ beneficiaries, including serving and retired government employees, as well as over 9,000 minors and 12,000 wealthy farmers who have availed the fiscal benefits under the scheme.
“Over 3.41 lakh fake beneficiaries have been detected as ineligible for the welfare scheme, earmarked for people from the farming community and we are initiating steps for the recovery of the sum taken by them under the scheme,” Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said.
The minister further informed that the fake beneficiaries have been directed to voluntarily pay back the sum in the state government’s bank account.
“If they fail to do so, penal action will be initiated against them under Odisha Public Demand Recovery (OPDR) Act,” Sahoo said.
Acting on allegations on discrepancies in the beneficiary list, the state government had earlier launched a verification process to cross-check the eligibility credentials of those who had received KALIA benefits.
“The verification conducted across 30 districts has detected 2.66 lakh ineligible beneficiaries,” the minister added.
Ahead of the 2019 twin polls, the Government of Odisha had launched the scheme for larger benefit of the farming sector.
The beneficiary farmers, including farm labourers are provided Rs 10,000 each per annum for two crops, Rs 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi crop, under the scheme.