The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found several shortcomings in the implementation of crop loan waiver scheme by the Telangana government. “Verification of beneficiaries under ‘farmer family’ norm was conducted without Aadhaar numbers, despite being mandatory in the scheme guidelines. No social audit was conducted to eliminate duplicate/multiple financing of beneficiaries,” the CAG said in its report on Economic Sector for the year ended March, 2016. The report was tabled in the just-concluded session of the State Legislative Assembly.
The crop loan waiver scheme, introduced in August 2014, covered short term production loans and crop loans disbursed by banks to farmers against gold. Each farmer family was eligible for waiver of crop loan amount which had been disbursed and was outstanding as of March 31, 2014, together with applicable interest on outstanding loan, up to August 31, 2014 or Rs one lakh per farmer family whichever was lower.
You may also like to watch:
In its audit findings, the CAG said the authorities did not verify the crop loans taken by farmers from other district bank branches on agriculture lands in multiple districts or mandals.
Crop loans to ‘Rythu Mitra Groups’ or ‘Rythu Mitra Sangams’ were waived, against the scheme guidelines to treat farmer families as units, it said.
“Banks claimed excess interest of Rs 183.98 crore on the total outstanding crop loan of beneficiaries. Some of the banks did not claim interest, though stipulated in the scheme guidelines, resulting in eligible farmers being deprived of waiver of interest to an extent of Rs 66.16 crore,” the government auditor said.