Patna, Sep 10 (PTI) Over 81,000 farmers have been deemed ineligible for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) scheme in Bihar, and the government has asked state-owned banks to expedite the process of collecting refunds from them, a senior official said.

These farmers were found disentitled for the central government programme on account of paying income tax and other reasons, he said.

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“After proper scrutiny, a total 81,595 farmers (45,879 income tax payees since 2020 and 35,716 for other reasons) have been identified as ineligible beneficiaries in Bihar. The state's agriculture department has asked all the banks concerned to expedite the process of collecting the refund amount worth around Rs 81.6 crore from the farmers,” Alok Ranjan Ghosh, Director (Agriculture), told PTI.

At a recent meeting of the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC), senior officials were asked to accord top priority to initiating the process of the collection, he said.

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The lenders have also been asked to issue fresh reminders, if required, to the ineligible farmers, as well as freeze such accounts.

Nearly Rs 10.3 crore refund money has so far been collected from these farmers by certain banks, Ghosh said.

The PM-Kisan scheme became operational from December 1, 2018. Under the programme, an income support of Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments is provided to all land-holding farmer families.

The state governments identify the farmer families, which are eligible for support as per the scheme guidelines, and the funds are directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

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