The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna was established in 2018 to help farmers continue with agricultural activities to sustain their livelihoods and a fund of Rs 6000 was credited in three instalments to farmers in their bank accounts. In such a backdrop, a few non-farmers received the benefits of the programme in Cuddalore through the Tiruvallur District Collectorate and a few middlemen approached the beneficiaries for Rs 1,000 as charges for including the names in the beneficiaries list.
This however, created a huge controversy and the District Collector ordered the Agriculture and Revenue Department to conduct a separate probe in which they found that the scam was not limited to Cuddalore but across 12 districts of northern Tamil Nadu. The Collector also asked the officials to trace the original beneficiaries and ensure that they can avail of the benefits.
Sources said, out of 1.79 lakh beneficiaries, 78,000 were added during the pandemic and among them 38,000 were non-farmers. A similar situation was reported in other districts as well and hence Bedi convened a meeting with the 13 District Collectors asking them to ensure fair probe into the matter.