Maharashtra government has looked to tackle farmers’ loan waiver scheme in a manner that brings benefits to the concerned people and at the same time public funds are not wasted or go to fraudsters. However, it has been alleged that a huge number of fake Aadhaar cards are floating around and that the loan waiver benefits might be cornered by them. But, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has clarified that suggestions of farmer loan waiver scheme being a ‘scam’ are baseless as not a single rupee will exchange hands. That the government is on tehlookout nevertheless about this fraud was made clear by Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil in a big revelation that he made.
As per the procedure, the Maharashtra government has been preparing a Green list of all the eligible farmers who will benefit from the farm loan waiver scheme. The loan amount will be credited to the banks concerned who will then write-off the farmer’s outstanding dues according to the norms. The writing-off of the loans will enable farmers to apply for fresh agricultural loans.
Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil has said that at least 10 lakh bank accounts of farmers are fake and will not receive any benefit of the loan waiver, according to PTI. The minister further claimed that most of these accounts were earlier opened by banks or credit societies for illegal transfer of the loan amount. The minister said, ‘’As per the previous assessment, some 89 lakh farmers were expected to benefit out of the loan waiver scheme. Now, we have realised that some 10 lakh bank accounts of farmers are fake, most of them opened by banks or credit societies for siphoning off the loan amount.’’
The government has found discrepancies in the linking of a single Aadhaar with several farmers which has been attributed to the feeding of data in the software that has been designed to reject any duplicate entries. However, the Chief Minister immediately called for an urgent meeting with the bankers and I-T Department officials and specified the loopholes in the scheme. Patil also said, ‘’Earlier, such fake accounts were regularly used for availing loan. With state government’s intervention, we want to fix such leakages in our system. Hence we have taken such tough decision. The government is keen on helping genuine farmers.”
The banks admitted that the data they received from the online registration portal —Aapale Sarkar – varies from the data in their records. The names of some farmers are missing and some do not match with the land size or type of loan. Thereafter, Fadnavis has directed the banks to check and rectify the problems on an urgent basis.