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State clueless on names of beneficiaries for Maharashtra Farm loan waiver

Since 50 days of the announcement, Maharashtra has so far not succeeded in identifying the beneficiary farmers for the loan waiver scheme.

On 4 July 2017, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis announced about waiving loans of over 36.10 lakh farmers across 35 districts in the biggest ever hope of redeeming them from their massive burden of debt. The state announced a blanket farm loan waiver to the protesting farmers that, the government estimate, will cost the exchequer about Rs 35,000 crore while in reality, this figure could go up since there are about 1.36 crore farmers in Maharashtra whose loans total to Rs 1.14 lakh crore. This was the biggest loan waiver conducted by any state governments in India in recent past. A committee was appointed to look into the modalities of the loan waiver scheme. The announcement of loan waiver by Fadnavis came after farmers’ organizations continued their agitation in many parts of the state claiming that their demands are yet to be met even after meeting with the chief minister.

Devendra Fadnavis gave the number of farmers in each of the 35 districts who will be benefitted from this waiver but till now there is not a single name against these numbers. The chief minister’s tweet had said that there are 694 farmers from Mumbai city and 119 from its suburbs who would be covered under this scheme. In the list of 35 districts, Wardha in Vidarbha is missing.

Fadnavis had tweeted that a total of 813 farmers from Mumbai were included in the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Farmers’ Welfare scheme. But RTI has reported that the state government confirmed that it does not have records of the farmers of Mumbai city and its suburbs. Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh said, “We do not have name and numbers of the farmers in every district. The information gathering process is going on. It takes time. The data available to us ís from the state level Bankers Committee and according to that information Fadnavis tweeted the number of beneficiaries.”

This is a serious lapse by the Chief Minister. Former deputy Chief Minister said that both BJP and Devendra Fadnavis have expertized in fooling people and giving them false assurance.

Since 50 days of the announcement, the state has so far not succeeded in identifying the beneficiary farmers. Allaying fears of delay, Fadnavis assured party workers besides the Opposition that loans will be waived only after a thorough inquiry confirming that the receiver is bona fide.

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