With the opposition launching a scathing attack on government on the alleged irregularities in the farm loan waiver, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday put a strong foot forward, saying "stringent possible action" will be taken against the guilty, if irregularities are found in the scheme.
The PM's assurance came in the Rajya Sabha after the BJP created an uproar over the issue.
"The reference is to the CAG report on loan waiver scheme. This is a matter which should be entrusted to the Public Accounts Committee as per the practice. If there are any irregularities, which have been shown, I assure the House that we will take stringent possible action against the defaulters," Singh said.
His statement came after BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad raised the issue during the Zero Hour. Dissatisfied by the PM's reply, the BJP members rushed into the well after which the House was adjourned for a while.
Prasad said the CAG report points out that 34 lakh people who should not have got the loan waiver benefit got it while 24 lakh actual beneficiaries were left out. "It is a case of clear scam," the BJP leader said.
The Lower House also resonated with the demands for arraignment of swindlers in the farm loan waiver scheme in the wake of CAG report, prompting the PM to promise "stringent possible action" against defaulters, if any. The House saw an hour-long adjournment over the issue after which the government agreed to have a debate on it.
No fraud, says Jharkhand bank
Ranchi: Jharkhand Gramin Bank, which has been accused by the CAG of R1.62 lakh irregularity in UPA's 2008 farm debt waiver scheme, has said there is no scam but simply mistakes due to flaws in the scheme. The bank categorically denied crediting debt waiver amount as reported by the CAG, but accepted granting excess benefit in some cases. "This has happened due to several gaping holes in the scheme. There is no fraud," said a senior officer of the Gramin Bank.