16 lakh Maha farmers’ loan waivers delayed as verification process moves at snail’s pace
The state has 22 lakh applicants whose accounts need verification so that they can become eligible for the waivermumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2018 09:58 IST
More than 16 lakh farmers have been left in the lurch after details filled by them in the applications seeking loan waivers failed to match with the details available with the banks they have their accounts in. The farmers will have to wait longer for the waiver as the details are being scrutnised manually.
During the review meeting on Tuesday by a cabinet sub-committee, headed by cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh, it came to light that only 31.32 lakh farmers were given a waiver amounting to Rs12,363 crore till February 5. Although the state prepared a list of 47.73 lakh eligible farmers, their data did not match with the bank details. This resulted in the scrutiny of 16.41 lakh bank accounts.
“We have been guiding applicants to the banks to get their accounts verified, after which the amount of their outstanding loans will be credited into their accounts. The process is time consuming because verification is being done manually. It may take another couple of months to transfer the amount into farmers’ bank accounts,” an official privy to the development said.
The question being raised now is how did the government clear the list of 47.73 lakh farmers, termed as the green list, with mismatched data.
Sources from the cooperation department said of the 16.41 lakh farmers awaiting a waiver despite their names appearing in the green list, eight lakh are eligible for a One Time Settlement (OTS). These farmers will have to pay the remaining amount of their outstanding debt to avail the benefit of Rs1.50 lakh from state.
“The response from famers in the OTS category is poor, as most are unable to raise the remaining amount to repay their loans. About 8,000 of the eight lakh farmers have approached banks to avail the waiver,” the official said.
The state has 22 lakh applicants whose accounts need verification so that they can become eligible for the waiver. The government said tehsil-level committees will verify the details.
“We have been saying since the beginning that the government is fooling the farmers. Although the state has touted the waiver as ‘historic and largest in the country’, not more than 40 lakh farmers are going benefit from the scheme,” said Sachin Sawant, state Congress spokesperson.
After the government announced the waiver, 77 lakh farmers applied, of which 69 lakh applications are being considered. About two months ago, the state had announced the first list of 47.73 lakh eligible farmers who were supposed to get Rs23, 102 crore.