Dilip Ramchandra Kachale is a farmer. His Aadhaar number is 111111110157 and savings account number 11111111111, according to data of farmers provided by banks to the state government for the loan waiver. Another farmer, Balkrishna Savale Ramghangali’s Aadhaar number is also 111111110157 and savings account number the same as that of Kachale, 11111111111, as per the data. This isn’t a solitary case. The number of farmers with identical Aadhaar and savings account numbers provided by banks to the state government runs into lakhs, posing a new challenge for the government, which wants to expedite the disbursal of the loan waiver money to 77 lakh farmers covering 56 lakh families across Maharashtra. A leading national bank’s list submitted to the state government shows 253 farmers with identical Aadhaar number 100000000000.
For example, the list shows Mohan Ananda Patil, a farmer, with Aadhaar number as 100000000000. Similarly, another farmer, who took a loan from the bank, too is listed with the same Aadhaar number, 100000000000. In all, there are 253 such cases. More than 50 farmers are shown to have the Aadhaar number 11111111111. Some examples: Krishna Pandurang Mhatre’s Aadhaar number is 11111111111, so is Sangita Mohan Yadav and Chandrakant Kashinath Deshmukh’s Aadhaar number. Such lists of farmers with apparently bogus Aadhaar and savings account numbers have been provided to the state government by national banks, district cooperative banks and commercial banks, sources said. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has convened a meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) on Wednesday. Principal secretary (information and technology) VK Gautam said, “We are perplexed to see the identical Aadhaar and savings account numbers of several thousand farmers. Now, how can two farmers have the same Aadhaar or savings account numbers?”
Another discrepancy is a list of 2.5 lakh farmers, who, according to banks, have cleared all their loans. But the same banks also show outstanding loans against these 2.5 lakh farmers. Another discrepancy in the list: One farmer owns the same loan account at least six times. There are couples whose names are repeated three times in the lists provided by banks. The loan waiver has two categories. If a farmer has a loan, he/she would be considered for a loan waiver up to Rs 1.5 lakh irrespective of the size of the land holding. In case of farmers who have cleared their dues, the government has offered an incentive of Rs 25,000. Sources in the IT department questioned how a bank can certify a farmer as having a loan and also having cleared all dues in the same form.
A senior bureaucrat in the department of cooperation and marketing, requesting anonymity, said, “In June, the SLBC had said the total number of farmers who have loans are 89 lakh and the amount Rs 34,000 crore. However, within a couple of months, the number of farmers with loans dropped to 10 lakh when they were asked to furnish the lists.” An official said, “This is the first time when eligible farmers are being decided after a thorough scrutiny. It is also an exercise to weed out corruption in the banking system.”In the first phase, the government gave a go-ahead for Rs 4,000-crore disbursement to 8.40 lakh farmers. The government wanted to complete the loan waiver process by October end.