Two BJP flagship schemes under CAG scanner

Two BJP flagship schemes under CAG scanner

The Organic Farming Mission and Suvarna Bhoomi programmes of the previous BJP government in the State have come under the scanner of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

In its report on the General and Social Sector tabled in the Legislature on Tuesday, the CAG has observed that the Organic Farming Scheme, whichprescribed an integrated approach to promote organic farming, witnessed several shortcomings right from the selection of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to disbursement of subsidies.

The report states that immediately after the announcement of the scheme, with a budgetary outlay of Rs 100 crore per annum, several informal farmer groups registered themselves as public charitable trusts. This had been done mainly to project themselves as NGOs and to participate in the scheme. The CAG in a test-check of a sample of 60 NGOs selected for implementing the scheme showed that in 56 cases, the NGOs had been registered after the announcement of the scheme.

Further, 26 per cent of the funds allotted for the scheme were utilised as salaries to the members of the NGOs. “Informal farmer groups registering themselves as NGOs after the announcement of the scheme clearly points to their interest to unduly profit from such association,” the report states.

The CAG has also found lapses in the implementation of Suvarna Bhoomi, under which small and marginal farmers were eligible for claiming incentives up to Rs 10,000 for shifting the crop pattern from low to high income yielding crops.

The performance of third-party agencies appointed for verifying the crops grown by the beneficiaries was far from satisfactory and failed to provide assurance that incentives had been disbursed to eligible beneficiaries, the report states.

In several verification reports done for releasing the incentives, it was found that the photos of the beneficiaries were superimposed on the filed photos with the crop, the report states.

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