There is more waiting in store for farmers in the state as the government’s loan waiver seem to have hit a stumbling block in terms of failure of bankers to fill necessary information. This, officials say, has now put a question mark on the proposed public reading of the names of the beneficiaries at the special gram sabha to be held on October 2.
Unlike the 2008-09 loan waiver, the present loan waiver is marked by the use of technology. Farmers were required to fill the form online and banks were to fill the information about loans being disbursed by them also online. Banks, in particular, were supposed to fill the information related to columns 1-66 of a special excel sheet created for this purpose. The information would relate to the individual loanees and is supposed to include details like the account number, amount of loan availed, Aadhaar number etc. The special software created for the loan waiver would match the online forms filled along with the information given by the banks and would take decision about the waiver. In the final stage, the dismemberment amount would be credited to the accounts of the farmers. Around 77 lakh online forms have been received for the scheme.
However, officials of the cooperative department said the commercial bank have lagged behind in filling the necessary details. The 31 district central cooperative banks (DCCB)s have filled around 70 per cent of the required information, with some banks lagging behind. Minister of Cooperation Subhas Deshmukh also admitted the delay was mainly due to commercial bank failing to fill the information online. “We have written to those banks to speed up the work and hope it will be done soon,” he said.
In absence of information from the banks, the next step in the waiver i.e. the public reading of village-wise names of beneficiaries, might not happen on the mandatory grams abha on on October 2. District level loan waiver committees were entrusted with transmitting the necessary information at the village levels for it to be read out during the grams abha. With the information of eligible farmers not ready yet, this action also now seems doubtful. Deshmukh said efforts were on to adhere to the deadline.
“In districts where the information is ready, the public reading would go ahead,” the minister declared. While not committing to a fixed dateline, Deshmukh hoped the loan waiver amount will be credited to the accounts of the farmers well before Diwali Farmers who would be left out of the process due to various reasons, the minister said, will be allowed to apply again. “The matter will be referred before the state cabinet and we will ensure every eligible farmer gets the benefit of the loan waiver,” he said.