Aadhaar rule hits 10k Barmer farmers seeking loan waiver
With the announcement of Congress government’s ‘Kisan Karj Mafi Yojana’ lakhs of farmers in state had heaved a sigh of relief, but about 10,000 farmers in Barmer district alone have been deprived of the loan waiver due to a new provision under which verification of the Aadhaar details have been made mandatory.
During the assembly elections in Rajasthan, the Congress had announced to waive off the loans of farmers up to ₹2 lakh. After coming to power in the state, the Congress government organised loan waiver camps in the districts and distributed loan waiver certificates to the beneficiary farmers.
Recently, the government made the verification of Aadhaar details mandatory for the loan waiver. This provision has created hurdles for lakhs of farmers, especially elderly farmers, seeking the loan waiver benefit, as their thumb and finger impression are not matching with the Aadhaar records. Owing to this, about 10,000 farmers in Barmer district alone are deprived of the loan waiver.
Mathari Devi, a 101-year-old resident of the district who has a farm loan of ₹16,526, received the loan waiver certificate, but her loan was not waived as the Aadhaar verification is pending. Following the government’s directions, her family members took her to the E-mitra centre for the Aadhaar verification, but her thumb impression and eyelash did not match with the Aadhaar records.
Mathari Devi’s grandson Vijay Sharma said that he had her to the E-mitra centre twice for the Aadhaar verification, but due to her old age Devi’s thumb impression and eyelash did not match with the Aadhaar records. Sharma said the authorities have refused the loan waiver to her grandmother saying that they could not do so without the Aadhaar verification.
Hariram Puniya, acting managing director of the Barmer Central Cooperative Bank in Barmer, confirmed the fact. Puniya told HT that the government has directed them to verify the Aadhaar details before the disbursal of loan waiver amount to farmers. Puniya said they have received many complaints related to the Aadhaar mismatch. According to him, there are about 10,000 farmers in Barmer district whose Aadhaar records did not match.
Puniya said the situation is common in the entire state and the figure could be in lakhs. He said that as the problem persists not just in Barmer, the decision will be taken at the state level. “Till date, we have no direction on loan disbursal to those farmers whose Aadhaar verification has not been completed,” he said.
After the announcement of loan waiver scheme, Barmer district topped in the number of beneficiaries. Energy minister BD Kalla and Barmer district incharge announced that two lakh farmers will get the benefit of loan waiver scheme in Barmer amounting to ₹683.92 crore. Prior to the Congress government, previous Vasundhara Raje government had announced onetime loan waiver of up to ₹50,000 for small and marginal farmers, following which Barmer cooperative bank waived loans worth ₹415 crore of 1.75 lakh farmers, which was highest in the state.