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Loan Waivers! But for whom?

Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Philip Varghese

One month ago, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared that 813 farmers belonging to Mumbai would be included in the grand Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme. However, a recent RTI query has revealed that the Maharashtra Government has no record the very 813 farmers, all hailing from the city and her suburbs. How does the government plan to help the 694 local farmers, burdened by outstanding loans amounting to Rs 45 crores and the 119 farmers from Mumbai Suburbs with outstanding loans amounting to Rs 0.12 crores, when it doesn't even possess their basic information!? All statistics being quoted by the CM have allegedly been based on assumptions and we all know what they say about assumptions!

No records of the Mumbai’s farmers with govt, finds RTI

In shocking information provided through a Right to Information (RTI) query, the Maharashtra Government has confirmed that it does not have records of the names of the farmers covered under the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Farmers Welfare Scheme in Mumbai and its suburbs.

This comes almost a month after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, declared that 813 farmers belonging to Mumbai were included in the Farmers Loan Waiver Scheme which has now raised eyebrows.

After the CM's declaration, Senior Government sources had said that the Government had compiled the list of the data obtained from the Cooperation Commissioner’s Officer and the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC). Details regarding the outstanding crop and agriculture term loans provided by Banking Cooperatives were sourced from the Cooperation Commissioner’s Office, while the SLBC data was referred to as loans provided by commercial and scheduled banks.

Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI query with the Maharashtra Government seeking information from the Government seeking details along with names of the Mumbai Farmers figuring as beneficiaries of the Loan Waiver Scheme under the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Farmers Welfare scheme.

Reacting to the RTI query, D M Rane, Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Maharashtra Government, Cooperation, Marketing and Textiles Department, informed Galgali that the Government receives information from the State Level Bankers Committee and according to that information, 694 Farmers from Mumbai have outstanding loans amounting to Rs 45.04 crores and 119 farmers from Mumbai Suburbs have an outstanding loans amounting to Rs 0.12 crores on the basis of assumption. “The Government does not have the list of farmers with their names and the list is with the bankers,” stated the reply.

Speaking to The Afternoon D&C, Galgali said, “The State Government which had announced the loan waiver scheme for farmers, had recently released the list of names of the beneficiaries. I too had apprehension about the presence of farmers in Mumbai. Hence, I sought the information from the Government.

CM Devendra Fadnavis had announced and assured that the loan waiver will be given only after detailed inquiry and cross checking. The Government doesn't have any list of its records and without cross verification and due diligence by the authorities, CM Devendra Fadnavis was given the data based on assumption. This is a very serious lapse in the administration front. I have asked the CM to probe about the said lapse.”

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