Maharashtra government uses portal for farmers’ fund to cut fraud | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra government uses portal for farmers’ fund to cut fraud

Mumbai city news: The state is planning to use its soon to be launched ‘direct benefit transfer portal’ to create this data base, where farmers will be asked to register themselves for the loan waiver.

mumbai Updated: Jul 18, 2017 10:20 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed that such a system was being finalised, which will make use of the government portal to avoid loan benefit going into the wrong hands.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed that such a system was being finalised, which will make use of the government portal to avoid loan benefit going into the wrong hands.(HT)

In a bid to ensure that only eligible farmers get the benefit of the over Rs36,000 crore loan waiver, the Mahrashtra government is looking at an Information Technology platform to prepare a comprehensive data base of the beneficiaries.

The state is planning to use its soon-to-be launched ‘direct benefit transfer portal’ to create this data base, where farmers will be asked to register themselves for the loan waiver.

Chief miinister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed that such a system was being finalised, which will make use of the government portal to avoid loan benefit going into the wrong hands.

The DBT portal on the lines of the existing central portal is to ensure simpler and faster flow of funds to genuine beneficiaries and weed out frauds. This state portal is to be launched next month. Currently, several central schemes including scholarships offered by higher education department, employment guarantee scheme and other social benefit schemes operate through the centre linked portal, where payments are electronically transferred into the accounts of the beneficiaries. The list of the beneficiaries with Aadhar numbers has been seeded into the system by different departments.

Farmers who register for the loan waiver will put in their individual Aadhar numbers to access and feed in other information about land records and income.

”The government will hire a private firm to run the software that will bring together bank information on loan accounts, and government data, including income tax and service tax, and land records. IT will cross-check information and arrive at a final data set,’’ said a senior official from the information technology (IT) department.

For instance, farmers who have a secondary income and file tax returns for the same, who are registered as value added tax payees or are as retired with a monthly income of Rs 15,000, are not eligible for the waiver. Those elected on the board of sugar co-operative mills, district co-operative banks and agricultural produce marketing committees are not eligible for the waiver. Those elected to these bodies are generally local politicians, who have both money and muscle power.

Every farmer who applies for the loan will have to be vetted through the central data information to ensure that he or she does not fall in any of these categories.

The IT department is working with the co-operation department and the Chief Minister’s Office to come out with the loan disbursal system.

Given that the co-operation department estimates nearly 89 lakh farmers as beneficiaries under the newly announced loan waiver scheme, collating the data is no easy task. The process should take at least another two months and the earliest the loan will only get disbursed in October.