The state government has decided to expedite the loan waiver process, extending the benefit to 25-30 lakh farmers in the second phase. The decision comes following reassurance from financial institutions, which have started submitting revised lists of farmers entitled for the loan waiver to the government after earlier lists were found to have lakhs of bogus names.
“So far, the government has directly credited money into the accounts of 2.39 lakh farmers. By November-end, we expect that number to cross 25-30 lakh,” said an official.
The State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) has estimated the total number of farmers eligible for the loan waiver at 67 lakh. The government had announced the loan waiver on July 24. In the first phase, which began on October 18, 8.40 lakh farmers were shortlisted.
However, the department of information and technology found serious errors in the lists of farmers furnished by banks. There were at least one-lakh farmers with wrong Aadhaar numbers. Secondly, there were 2.5 lakh names which did not qualify for the loan waiver as they were government employees. Thirdly, there were issues related to segregation of family unit to ensure the loan amount did not exceed Rs 1.5 lakh. “The coordination committee, which also includes IT experts representing banks, has worked together in the last 15 days to fix the problems…,” said an official in the IT and state cooperative and marketing department.
While acknowledging there have been glitches initially that delayed the process, the official added, “Almost 80 per cent of the loan waiver to farmers will be completed by December-end.”
The state has also made budgetary provisions of Rs 22,000 crore for the loan waiver. If the loan waiver amount exceeds, the government will rework its budget through supplementary demands in the coming winter session in Nagpur next month.