Chennai: The alleged large scale siphoning off of funds meant for the State’s farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, which envisages an annual cash payment of Rs 6000 to each of the 9.5 crore farmers in the country, saw not just the BJP submitting petitions but also the DMK demanding a CBI investigation into the scam.
Looting seems to be the prime objective of the State government, led by Edappadi K Palaniswami, said DMK President M K Stalin in a statement on Monday, saying that the Central funds had been swindled by paying fake farmers the money.
In the Chief Minister’s district of Salem alone 10,700 fake farmers had received the money meant for farmers, Stalin said, adding that it was a state-wide scam running into Rs four crore.
He also alleged a similar scam in the Prime Minister’s Housing scheme, ‘Pradhan Manthiri Awas Yojana,’ saying that in Thiruvarur district alone 150 cases of fake drawing of money meant for providing houses to the poor had been detected.
Stalin demanded a BJP investigation into the farmers’ fund scam and said the State government had pulled it off by appointing favourable agricultural officers. He even doubted if the Centre was conniving at the corrupt practices of the State government.
The central scheme envisages paying the Rs 6000 to farmers in three instalments and swindle has taken place in the release of the first instalment of Rs 2000 each.
The BJP, as announced earlier, submitted memoranda to all district collectors in the State on Monday demanding action against those who had illegally siphoned off funds meant for farmers. In Chennai, BJP leader V P Duraisamy and Karu Nagarajan presented the petition to the Chief Secretary.
The petition urged the State government to appoint an enquiry commission to go into the scam and take action against all those who were responsible for the swindling of funds meant for farmers. It was a crime to take the money illegally, the petition said.
Reacting to the allegation, Textile Minister O S Manian said in Nagapattinam that the State government has launched an investigation into the scam. It happened because the Centre simplified the procedures for enrolling into the scheme.
Initially they were identifying the beneficiaries through the village administrative officers and then through officials of the agricultural department. Then when they allowed for direct application, fake cases started drawing money, he said, adding that the State government was implementing the scheme only with the Centre guidance.
Agricultural Minister R Doraikannu said in Thanjavur that the government had ordered an investigation by the CB-CID after receiving information of illegal drawing of money meant for farmers. Not only would the funds be taken back from the fake farmers but also action be taken against them, Doraikannu said....