Bhopal: The report of a farmer in Madhya Pradesh getting loan waiver of as low as Rs 13 has evoked a sharp response from the Opposition in the state. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told media on Thursday, “The news that people are being given Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 50 in the name of farm loan waivers is a cruel joke. Yesterday, I checked a list of farm loan waiver beneficiaries, half of the list was in English. How will the farmers be able to understand it?” (Also read: HC Junks PIL Against Farm Loan Waiver)

According to media reports, a farmer, Shivpal Kataria, belonged to Nipania Baijnath village in Agar Malwa district, 120 km north of Indore. Kataria had Rs 13 marked against his name on the list of beneficiaries for the farm loan waiver issued by the authorities on Wednesday.

Kataria was expecting a loan waiver of Rs 24,000. “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 has been waived,” IANS quoted Kataria as saying.

The Kamal Nath-led government had announced farm loan waiver the day he took charge. The process of application began on January 15.

February 5 is the last date for applying for loan waiver and from February 22, the money is supposed to start going directly to the farmers’ bank accounts. The scheme aims to benefit 55 lakh farmers and would mean an expenditure of Rs 50,000 crore.

Meanwhile, reacting to Kataria’s ordeal, Home Minister Bala Bachchan said, “Whosoever faces this problem should inquire about it from bank officials. We will waive off loans up to Rs 2 lakh of farmers who are eligible and took loan within the specified time frame.”

Union minister Manoj Sinha also reacted to the report and said on Thursday, “It (farm loan waiver) was just a false promise made during the election by Congress party and its President.”