New Delhi: A farmer in Madhya Pradesh, who was expecting a complete farm loan waiver, was shocked to see Rs 13 marked besides his name in the list of beneficiaries released by authorities on Wednesday.
Alleging irregularities in the farm loan waiver scheme announced by the newly-formed Kamal Nath government, farmer Shivpal Kataria, a resident of Nipania Baijnath village in Agar Malwa district, said, “The state government had promised to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh. Forms were filled and I was expecting a complete waiver of my loan amount of Rs 23,815. But the list that has come to the panchayat says only Rs 13 have been waived.”
He further said, “I am an honest farmer. I have been regularly paying my dues. On questioning, the staff said that I did not have a loan on me on the date of the loan waiver. There are major irregularities in the loan waiver scheme. I have reported the matter to the authorities.”
Reacting to the news, Cabinet Minister Omkar Singh Markam said, “Irregularities which happened at the stage of loan disbursal are now surfacing. We are taking the required action.”
However, on the contrary, he was quoted by news agency ANI that the loan amount is 20,000.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath had cleared a proposal for waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh soon after he took oath on December 17, fulfilling a promise made by the Congress ahead of Assembly polls in the state. Congress president Rahul Gandhi had promised a farm loan waiver within 10 days of his party coming to power in the state, where it ended the 15-year-long BJP rule.
After facing wrath over a series of farmer suicide incidents since the cut-off date criterion for farm loan waiver was announced by the chief minister, the Madhya Pradesh government, earlier this month, had reportedly extended the date to avail the benefit of the farm loan waiver scheme.
Days after the government had announced the farm loan waiver, a farmer had allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Khandwa district. He was ‘disturbed’ over not being able to avail the latest crop loan waiver due to the cut-off date criterion. “He was hoping that his loan would be written off. But he became disturbed since he came to know that farmers who had taken loan after March 31 are not entitled to the waiver”, the deceased farmer’s brother had claimed.