Mumbai: To avoid misuse of the farm loan waiver scheme, the State government is going to frame strict guidelines to define genuine beneficiaries. These new guideline may reduce the number of beneficiary farmers that was announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis this week.
All accounts of beneficiaries will be linked with their Aadhaar numbers, so that is clear from how many banks, the beneficiary has borrowed loans from and for what purpose.
The State government is also contemplating developing a new software so as to track genuine and eligible farmers. The software will link to the farmers’ accounts in banks and details of their loan.
In the loan waiver scheme implemented in 2008, it was found that there were huge irregularities and many non-farmers got benefits. There were also 270 farmers from Mumbai in the list of beneficiaries in 2008.
The CAG’s audit of the scheme, which was conducted across 90,576 bank accounts in 25 states, found several lacunae and recovery of Rs 56 crore is still going on from four district banks.
According to an official from the co-operative department, there will various guidelines to prevent non-farmers from getting benefits of the scheme. “Aadhaar will be linked with the bank account, so that we can come to know that whether the farmers are paying income tax or not,” said the officer.
“Though the government has extended the cut off for the loan waiver, the new cut off for loan waiver will be counted from 2009. It may increase the farmers’ numbers, but will not put extra burden anticipated by the government,” said the officer. The CAG report in the loan waiver of 2008 found that 13.5 per cent of the 9,334 accounts that were test checked were eligible for the waiver, but were not included in the scheme. It also found that 8.5 per cent of the 80,299 accounts that were ineligible for the waiver got the benefit anyway.