Alleging that the previous loan waiver scheme was plagued by frauds, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today asked the officials to ensure that the new scheme benefits only the needy farmers.
Amid farmers’ agitation over the last two weeks, the BJP-led state government has announced that it would come out with a new farm loan waiver scheme. The UPA government had announced a country-wide farm loan waiver in 2008.
“There were massive scams (in the previous scheme) and CAG report on it is an eye-opener for all of us. People with a loan of over Rs 80 lakh got the benefit of waiver. Some beneficiaries were not even farmers,” Fadanvis said, addressing a meeting of district collectors and other revenue officials here.
Some banks, having written off certain loans, revived those accounts and got the loans waived when the scheme came, the CM said.
“We are implementing a loan waiver scheme now. It is our collective responsibility to make sure that the needy, poor and debt-ridden farmers get its benefit,” Fadnavis said, adding that the collectors should ensure that rich farmers do not take its advantage.
“We will have to strive hard to keep these people away and for that we will have to carry out a massive (scrutiny) exercise in the next two-three months,” he said.
As the monsoon has arrived, the government has decided to extend an advance of Rs 10,000 to small farmers for seeds and fertilisers, he said. “We have decided to be lenient (about formalities) and the advance will be given on the basis of self-certification,” he said.
Officials, therefore, shouldn’t insist on documents while sanctioning this amount to farmers, he said.