Pune: On the backdrop of a round of discussions by opposition leaders suggesting that the ‘conditions’ will lead to many farmers not getting loan waiver benefit, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared that his government will see to it that not a single needy farmer is left out of this scheme.
Fadnavis was speaking at the two-day revenue conference at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA). He said his government wants to avoid the repeat of last loan waiver announced by the UPA government in 2008. He said the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG), in its report, had then passed serious strictures on the way the loan waiver was implemented.
He said the CAG report pointed out how some had waived off loans of Rs10 lakh and how loans marked on five accounts of one individual were waived off.
The CAG report pointed out that some got their loans waived off though they were not farmers.
In some cases, though the loan amount was recovered from farmers, banks siphoned off money from the government saying the farmers were unable to repay the loans.
In some registers the same beneficiaries’ names cropped up eight times. Fadnavis added that in some cases money was siphoned off against land acquired for government projects.
He said there were cases of misappropriation of funds during the last loan waiver. He said the government’s purpose in announcing loan waiver is that each needy, deserving and poor farmer should get benefit of the loan waiver.
He added that the government needs to ensure that non-farmers, financially sound and rich farmers are not able to usurp funds under the scheme.
Fadnavis said the committee appointed under Chairmanship of Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil will interact with farmers’ organisation and political leaders and then prepare criteria for loan waivers. He added that once these criteria are fixed, a massive exercise will be done in each district.
Stating that the Cabinet has decided to disburse Rs 10,000 to farmers ahead of the sowing season to ease their burden to some extent, Fadnavis said the government has put conditions to decide who can benefit. He said the government has put conditions to exclude government employees, Income Tax payers and political leaders.
He added that the government has decided to take a lenient approach in the disbursal of Rs 10,000 and self-certification by farmers declaring that he or she is not from the above mentioned categories will be considered valid.
He said that district collectors will need to supervise the preparation of the list of beneficiaries and liaison with banks to ensure that only deserving farmers get the benefits of loan waiver and undeserving and rich farmers remain out of this scheme.