Govt staff, income tax payees not eligible for farm loans waiver in Madhya Pradesh
Government employees, public representatives from panch-sarpanch to members of Parliament and income tax payees cannot avail the crop loan waiver scheme announced by chief minister Kamal Nath on Monday in his first decision after assuming office, officials familiar with the matter have confirmed.
Also, farmers selling their agriculture produce to others by forming a registered company will also not be eligible for the loan waiver. Even those getting a pension of Rs 15,000 and above will not be covered under the scheme. However, retired army men have been exempted from the pension criterion, as per these sources.
Also, if a farmer has taken loans from multiple agencies, he can apply for waiver of loan taken from only one of the agencies, the sources added. The state government, meanwhile, has constituted a 22-member committee to monitor the implementation of the CM’s loan waiver scheme.
Day 2 of the new Congress government saw hectic activities in the state secretariat with officials concerned holding a series of meetings to fix the criteria to weed out ineligible farmers from the list of beneficiaries.
On Monday, the CM through an order waived outstanding short-term crop loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh per head. According to officials familiar with the matter, as many as 3.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the scheme, while the state will have to incur an additional financial burden of approximately Rs 38,000 crore.
Officials said linking of Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts of the farmers will be mandatory for availing the loan waiver.
“The Aadhaar Card linking with bank accounts is made compulsory to maintain transparency in the process. There are many farmers who have taken loan from multiple banks but the government will waive off loan up to ~2 lakh from one bank only. The Aadhaar card will play an important role in this,” said Rajesh Rajora, principal secretary, farmer welfare and agriculture development department.
A draft on the loan waiver will be presented to the state cabinet which will have its maiden meeting on December 26, as per official sources.
Meanwhile, a group of farmers from Sehore, the native district of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, reached the secretariat to thank Kamal Nath for his decision on loan waiver.
Former Madhya Pradesh finance minister Jayant Malaiya on Tuesday said CM Nath announced the farm loan waiver in a “haste” and without planning, as he was under “pressure” to keep the poll promise.
Speaking to mediapersons Malaiya also dismissed the Congress’ charge that the erstwhile BJP government was responsible for the “fiscal mess” in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to the BJP leader’s charges, state Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta said nothing more could be expected from the BJP leaders. “The BJP government failed to address farmers grievances, but when the Congress government had done this they were having a problems with it,” he added.