Maharashtra loan waiver: BJP-led government struggles to clear second list of eligible farmers

Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai
Nov 01, 2017 10:45 AM IST

Officials struggle to verify bank data; only 2.39 lakh beneficiaries cleared so far

The Maharashtra government is still struggling to clear the second list of eligible farmers for the loan waiver, after declaring the first list of 2.39 lakh beneficiaries on Friday. At a cabinet sub-committee meeting on Tuesday, state officials expressed helplessness at verifying the data uploaded by banks, given the multiple errors flagged in its online system.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with farmers demanding a loan waiver.(HT File)
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with farmers demanding a loan waiver.(HT File)

It is learnt that IT officials told ministers that the errors in the loan account information provided by the banks is causing delay in completing the verification process.

The implementation of the state government’s ambitious Rs34,022-crore loan waiver has been mired in controversy. After the state government released its first list of 8.4 lakh beneficiaries at a function on October 18, it came to light that lakhs of these accounts had dummy or similar Aadhaar numbers. The government has parked Rs4,000 crore for disbursal for this waiver, but now cleaning up the data is taking time.

The government withdrew the original list even as Fadnavis slammed banks for goofing up on its digitisation exercise and data collection. Initially, banks had listed the total number of beneficiaries at 89 lakh farmers, but now this list has been pruned to 69-lakh-odd beneficiaries.

The nationalised and co-operative banks have uploaded data for only 26 lakh beneficiary bank accounts so far and from this the state’s IT department has been able to verify data of only 2.39 lakh farmers. The government will have to spend Rs899.12 crore for these farmers.

Talking to reporters, state cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh refuted that they are facing any difficulty in clearing the list of eligible farmers.

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