14,000 ‘farmers’ from Mumbai apply for farm loan waiver, leave state confused | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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14,000 ‘farmers’ from Mumbai apply for farm loan waiver, leave state confused

After getting applications from Mumbai seeking farm loan waiver, Maharashtra government says Aadhaar may have caused error, will verify records

mumbai Updated: Sep 02, 2017 22:47 IST
Faisal Malik
By September 30, the state may release its first list of eligible farmers.
By September 30, the state may release its first list of eligible farmers.(Pic for Representation)

Even as the Maharashtra government is taking all the precautions to make the process for giving farm loan waiver benefits ‘transparent’, it has come to light that more than 14,000 farmers from Mumbai have applied for loan waiver. Of them, around 13,000 are from city alone.

Farmers from Lucknow, Raebareli and Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh too have applied for the waiver despite the government making efforts to ensure the process is easy and transparent. 

So far, 47.75 lakh farmers have registered with the state government through its online process started on July 24 at 26,000 ‘Aaple Sarkar’ centres across the state. 

Of the total farmers, 14,121 are from Mumbai, including 13,204 from the city and 917 from the suburbs. This has confused state officials considering there are no farms in the megapolis.

Sources in the government believe that Aadhaar card is the reason that it looks like farmers from Mumbai have applied for loan waiver.

“Since we have made Aadhaar mandatory for the application, it may be the case that some of them made their Aadhaar cards in Mumbai, but they own farmland in Konkan or other districts,” said a senior official from the cooperation department.

There was an uproar after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had first tweeted a list of possible farmer beneficiaries, which had included 813 farmers from Mumbai.

There were questions asked as to how there were farmers in the city and if loan waiver benefit would go to ineligible candidates. The officials also now fear if the list may increase in the coming days as the last day for filing application is September 15. 

“Currently, we are under the process of receiving applications from farmers. These applications will be verified through two-fold process, once with the list of loan defaulters from the banks and second from the list of Aadhaar linked ration card holders. After verification will come to know whether there are any irregularities or not,” said V K Gautam, principal secretary of Information Technology department told HT. 

Following unprecedented strike and agitation by the farmers, the Maharashtra government declared Rs 36,000-crore package to waive off farm loans. The government claimed the loan waiver, which includes a one-time settlement option and Rs25,000 compensation to those who repay loans regularly, will benefit nearly 89 lakh farmers. 

Once verification is completed, the government will release three types of list — green, red and yellow. Green list will stand for accepted applications, red for rejected applications and yellow, where there is some confusion which needs to be resolved.

By September 30, the government is expecting to release its first list of eligible farmers.