Woman Official Suspended for Rs 36 Lakh Rythu Bandhu Fraud

HYDERABAD: An officer posted in the Jogulamba Gadwal district’s agriculture department has allegedly deposited `36 lakh, which was supposed to be paid to farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, into benami accounts.

Gadwal district agriculture department officer Govind Naik issued orders suspending the assistant extension officer (AEO), Divya, and ordered an inquiry.

Divya, AEO of Gattu mandal, handled the Baligera cluster wehre hundreds of farmers are eligible for getting funds under the Rythu Bandhu scheme. Taking advantage of loopholes in the release of the second phase, Divya created benami and fake accounts in the name of 64 farmers and diverted Rs 36 lakh to those accounts.

"In the preliminary probe, we found violations from 2018 to 2022 at Gattu mandal where Rs 36 lakh funds under the Rythu Bandhu scheme have been diverted to other accounts. Recently, a farmer approached the district agriculture department officials in Gadwal and said that he had received the first phase funds for Kharif season but nothing beyond that," said Naik.

Based on the complaint, the officials inquired into the issue. Suspecting foul play, the officials verified the account numbers in which the funds were deposited. They identified the benamis and questioned them. They disclosed that Divya had opened those accounts to which she diverted funds.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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