Several residents of Govadi village in Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district on Saturday discovered that they were beneficiaries of the farm loan waiver announced by the previous BJP government in the state. However, the realisation soon led to confusion among the residents as they had never taken an agricultural loan.
Gaurav Sevak, whose father’s name appeared in the list of beneficiaries uploaded on the Cooperative Department website, said, “My father (Ramesh Sevak) works in Mumbai. The official website shows that he has received a loan waiver of Rs 57,300. He never took any farm loan,” says Gaurav, 22.
After the mistake was noticed, the issue snowballed and local residents held protests and submitted a memorandum to the district administration on Monday. The “beneficiaries” demanded action against people who they claimed siphoned money meant for farm loan waiver by using their names.
The Rajasthan Cooperative Department has started a probe, with department officials accepting that such irregularities had been found in three Large Agricultural Multipurpose Societies (LAMPS) situated in villages Govadi, Gamda Bamniya and Jethana in Sagwara tehsil of Dungarpur district. “In our investigation so far, we have found that in one of these three LAMPS, names of 263 people have been used to allocate farm loan waivers worth Rs 1.44 crore despite the fact that these people did not avail of the loan. We are investigating how these societies have attributed the loan waiver money to them,” Neeraj K Pawan, Registrar, Cooperative Department told The Indian Express. He added that the money in question is for the loan waiver announced by the previous BJP government last year.
According to the Cooperative Department website, the three societies, which are currently under investigation, have waived loans of 3,073 farmers.
“Residents are saying that many people who did not take loans found their names in the list of farmers whose loans have been waived. We have asked for records of these three societies for probe,” said P P Mandot, Regional Audit Officer, Cooperative Department, Udaipur.