Loan waiver to benefit 11 lakh Rajasthan farmers: Minister

Jaipur, Feb 4 : A total of 11 lakh farmers in Rajasthan will benefit from the farm loan waiver scheme for which camps will be organised in all districts from February 7, a state Minister said on Monday.

State Cooperatives Minister Udailal Anjana also said that around 13.5 lakh farmers will be kept out of the scheme as these farmers had already availed the loan waiver introduced by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, but then took loans again.

A discussion would be held soon to decide on their status, he added

Anjana, in response to a query from IANS about the funding for the loan waiver scheme which is estimated at Rs 18,000 crore, said that the Finance Department has assured them that the funds would be arranged and there would not be any problem.

He also said that the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government has chosen Aadhaar-based verification to review eligibility of farmers for the loan waiver, which was promised by the party in its manifesto for the December 7 Assembly elections.

The Minister said that several reports of irregularities have emerged in farm loan waiver implementation programme launched by the previous BJP government.

"Hence, we have decided to follow a step-wise and transparent process to ensure that the benefits go in right hands," he said.

"The BJP government introduced the farm loan waiver of Rs 50,000 for farmers in the last months of its tenure.

Hence, no planned policy or technique was followed to review the beneficiary status. The scheme was implemented in a hurry for electoral gains.

"However, now our government is working on a live portal where each and every entry shall be made depending on Aadhaar-based verification," he added.

The Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan failed to use the Aadhaar-based verification process to implement the farm loan waiver and hence it saw many problems, said official sources, adding that while ineligible people received benefits, those eligible were left out.

In Dungarpur, out of 11,000 farmers who have had their loans waived, 7,700 have fake and unverified accounts, the sources said.

Huge amounts have been transferred to the accounts of these ineligible people, and recovery shall be made from them after legal action, according to the sources.

Anjana also termed the BJP's "Jail Bharo Andolan" on February 8 a "political stunt".

"We have implemented the farm loan waiver in just 1.5 months after forming the government. However, both Modi government as well as state BJP government in Rajasthan brought the waiver during its last months of their tenures.

Had they cared for the farmers, they too would have done it on a priority basis like us," he added.

The BJP announced the agitation to protest delay in loan waivers by the Congress government as it had promised to do it within 10 days after forming the government.



Source: IANS