The PMKSNY was introduced to help ryots continue with their agricultural activities by crediting a monetary assistance of Rs 6,000 in the account of each farmer in three instalments annually. But, thousands of non-farmers received the benefits under the programme as officials allegedly in collusion with a few middlemen, who took Rs 1000 for every non-farmer’s name added to beneficiaries list.
Though the complaint originated in Cuddalore district, farmers’ body suspected the scam had taken place at least in 12 northern districts of the state. The whole bungling was exposed after a probe carried out by the revenue department in Cuddalore district.
Subsequently, the Principal Secretary of Agriculture Gagandeep Singh Bedi, who came to know about the incident, convened a meeting with the respective district collectors and asked for a detailed report.
Meanwhile, the Kallakurichi district CPM unit claimed that out of a total of 76,756 beneficiaries of the PMKSNY in the district, more than 50 per cent of them were non-farmers and they staged a series of protests at nine places in the districts on August 17.
Subsequently, Collector Kiran Gurrala ordered the revenue officials to conduct an inquiry. Based on the report submitted by the officials, the Collector the suspended Assistant Directors (Agri) from Rishivandiyam and Thiyagadurgam unions on Tuesday apart from sacking of 13 contract workers.