Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday ordered a high-level probe into allegations of irregularities in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme.
Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua has been entrusted with the responsibility to enquire into the preparation of faulty beneficiary list and submit his report within one month.
Last week, the opposition Congress had cornered the government alleging that the panchayat representatives entrusted to make the list of beneficiaries had included names of ineligible people, including their own family members, depriving the real beneficiaries.
The Congress had asked for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
"Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today ordered inquiry In view of allegations about the implementation of the scheme, the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of all districts have been directed to verify the genuineness of beneficiary lists, correctness of eligibility of beneficiaries, authentication of bank account details and check duplicity in data entry etc. The DCs have been instructed to validate the village wise beneficiary list through circle officers, lot mandals and gaonburhas within one month" the Chief Minister's office said in a statement.
The DCs have been directed to stop further release of payments under the scheme till the preparation of correct beneficiary list with authenticated bank accounts after deletion of doubtful entries, the statement said.
"We are going for 100 per cent re-verification in the entire state of the list of beneficiaries. We have already started to take action," Assam Agriculture Minister Atul Bora told NDTV.
Last week, Assam Congress chief and Rajya Sabha MP Ripun Bora wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that "serious anomalies and manipulations" have been observed in the implementation of the scheme in Assam, where it was initially touted to benefit 31 lakh farmers.
In his letter, Mr Bora asked PM Modi to hand over this case to the CBI "to inquire into details and to bring to book the culprits involved in this scam."
Mr Bora alleged that names of government employees and businessmen have been chosen to reap the benefits of this scheme. Mr Bora said there were at least 22,000 "bogus" names in Assam's PM Kisan beneficiary list.