The Maharashtra government has received over 8.90 lakh extra applications seeking the loan waiver than the actual number of eligible farmers having the loan outstanding. As per the government, 44,48,599 farmers have the loan outstanding, but the number of applications received for the waiver stood at 53,39,007. “There are 44,48,599 farmers having overdue loan as per the figures compiled by all the banks having farmers’ accounts. However, the number of applications received for the loan waiver is 53,39,007, which is in excess by around nine lakh. Nobody has an idea of how it happened,” a senior Cooperation department official said. These figures were discussed in the meeting of a sub-committee of ministers held at Mantrayala today.
The loan waiver, announced in June this year, is estimated to cost Rs 34,000 crore to the state exchequer. “It is true that the number of applications received is more than the estimated number of beneficiary farmers. But we are not rushing to any conclusion. Let’s wait, and complete the scrutiny of the applications. Only verified farmers’ accounts will get waiver,” state Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar told PTI. When asked about the anomaly, Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh, also a member of the sub-committee of ministers, said there could have been multiple applications filed by members of a farmer’s family.
“This could be one of the reasons behind the rise in the number of applications,” he added. Interestingly, among the applicants, 1,388 farmers are shown as the residents of Mumbai city having the outstanding crop loan while 316 are shown as the residents of Mumbai suburban district. “For the 1,388 farmers, there are 21,555 applications for the loan waiver while for the 316 farmers 1,441 applications have been filed,” the senior official said citing data. He said the registration and uploading of details of farmers’ loan will be completed by September 22. “The state government had also asked banks to provide all the details of potential beneficiaries of the loan waiver scheme. Now, Aadhar card is also linked with bank accounts so that the state government can verify the information of farmers who had registered themselves with ‘Aapale Sarkar’ portal and information shared by the banks,” he said. The official said that genuine beneficiaries will be selected on the basis of this information and the loan waiver scheme will be implemented. “The state government is minimising the scope for duplication of non-deserving farmers getting the benefit,” he added.