‘Subsidies were paid to dead farmers’

KUALA LUMPUR: The second series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2018 revealed that RM57.92mil in subsidies and incentives were paid out to deceased farmers between 2016 and 2018.

This was discovered after the analysis of registration of names of farmers against their identity card details with the National Registration Department (NRD).

“A total of 3,210 and 7,061 farmers who had died still received subsidies and incentives respectively during the replanting season,” the report stated.

The dead farmers continued to receive their subsidies and incentives although records showed that they had died between 1967 and 2019.

Based on feedback from the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry, it was confirmed that 11,712 farmers had passed away, with details of another

5,099 farmers not found with the NRD.

“The ministry also has to investigate issues on the awarding of subsidies and incentives to farmers who are now deceased or whose identity card numbers do not exist or are incomplete,” it said.

The audit also discovered that the identity card numbers of between 7,894 and 10,034 subsidy recipients were incomplete and this had raised doubts on subsidies totalling RM108.08mil.

Between 2016 and 2018, claims by companies for the padi fertiliser scheme had exceeded their contract value by RM178.23mil.

The audit also found that the ministry had overpaid a total of RM17.58mil for claims under the padi production incentive and pesticide scheme in 2016.

The audit found that padi production for 2016 to 2018 dropped between 1.4% and 8.5%.

The padi production for 2016 to 2018 was 7.95 metric tonnes compared to the target production of 8.43 metric tonnes.

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