Boipariguda: Poor farmers are being provided with financial assistance under the KALIA scheme and PM Kishan Yojana by both the Odisha government as well as the Centre. However, in many places, the financial assistance to the farmers is allegedly being siphoned off in post offices in the area without being paid to the beneficiaries, a report said.
The matter came to fore after farmers of Kasamguda village under Doraguda panchayat and this block in Koraput district levelled charges of misappropriation of financial assistance against the post offices in the locality.
Reports said farmer Sana Paraja was informed of sanction of six installments of KALIA and eight installments of PM Kishan Yojana. Later, three installment of KALIA and two installment of PM Kishan Yojana were credited to his bank account at Indian Overseas Bank in Boipariguda. He was withdrawing the money from the Doraguda branch post office by submitting his Aadhaar card number and thumb impression before Prasant Sahu, the postmaster.
Later, the postmaster asked him to open an account under India Post Payment Bank in the post office. Accordingly, Sana opened an account in the post office and later he withdrew Rs 4,000 from the new account.
Later when other farmers received their installments and he did not, Sana met the postmaster and enquired about his amount. However, the postmaster turned him away stating that his account yet to be credited with money. Even though Sana showed messages of money being credit to his account on his registered mobile number, the postmaster allegedly asked for his phone and deleted all the messages
Suspecting something amiss, Sana visited Boipariguda Thursday and checked the status of his account online. He found that installments of KALIA and PM Kishan Yojana have been credited to his account.
When this reporter confronted the postmaster, he said that he will inform after verifying the records. Later, the postmaster informed him that Sana has received Rs 18,000 from April to September in both the schemes. This reporter further asked him as to why the postmaster gave Sana only Rs 4,000 instead of the entire amount. The postmaster then offered a lame excuse.
Later on, the postmaster visited Sana twice at the latter’s home and handed him Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000. Sana however, is still not convinced. The postmaster’s recent action of handing over the amounts in the space of a couple of days has made him suspicious.
Woman farmer Damai Paraja and farmer Ram Paraja also had similar stories to tell. They said that earlier they were receiving their installment from their bank accounts of IOB but were asked to open an account with the Indian Post Payments Bank. They alleged that they have not receiving been their installments regularly after opening accounts in the post office.
The postmaster handed over Rs 9,000 to Damai when the latter’s husband confronted him. The postmaster paid Thursday Rs 7,000 to Rama the same day after he levelled allegations against him.
Notably, farmers who have opened accounts in the Indian Post Payment Banks have not been provided with any passbook. Instead they have been given a card which they can use to verify transaction details. However, at times the card also doesn’t work.