Senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan today demanded a judicial probe into the alleged bogus names of farmers included in the list of beneficiaries for the loan waiver announced by the BJP-led Maharashtra government. Notably, the state government’s attempt of online registration for loan waiver implementation has made the authorities concerned as names of several farmers have been found linked to a single Aadhaar number. The state government had earlier stressed on online registration by farmers with their Aadhaar, which is a unique identification.
The government said that the Aadhaar-based linking will avoid any duplication as well as fake accounts getting the benefit of the loan waiver. “The government had announced that 89 lakh farmers would be eligible for loan waiver. What happened later? Why have farmers been humiliated by deleting the names of real farmers and why have fake beneficiaries been added?There should be a judicial inquiry into what has exactly gone wrong,” Chavan said while addressing the reporters here. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday held an urgent meeting with bankers and pulled them up for the discrepancies that have crept in the disbursal of the loan amount.
“He directed that joint teams of officials and bankers be set up to sort out the errors in the list on war footing. The CM has also directed that the errors in the list be weeded out and disbursal of the amounts begin from October 26 itself,” an official who was present at the meeting said. Officials of some banks also admitted that the data they received from the online registration portal — Aapale Sarkar – varies the data at their in their records. State cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh earlier said the haste in implementing the loan waiver disbursal and some farmers and their family members having the same Aadhar card numbers led to many farmers getting more than the prescribed limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.
“We had a list of 8.4 lakh farmers ready with us. However, due to continuous holidays for four days, the disbursal got delayed,” he said. Deshmukh said farmers did not give any erroneous data. “It was due to the technical glitches that the Information Technology department and the banks faced which led to the problems. Many farmers have their accounts in banks for more than 40 years. While executing such a mammoth task, some mistakes are bound to happen. However, we will not let public money go waste,” the minister said.
The state government had last week released a sum of Rs 4,000 crore under the first phase of the over Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver scheme. Responding to the Opposition’s criticism against the online system of filling forms for availing the scheme, Fadnavis earlier said had that not been done, the banks would have mismanaged funds.