Maharahstra’s farm loan waiver poor in reach

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While it has been five months since Maharashtra announced a farm loan waiver aimed at indebted farmers in the state, most of the farmers have not benefitted out the scheme yet.

The state government on Tuesday announced that it has disbursed Rs10,332 crore so far to benefit over 1.7 million farmers, and banks have given away Rs 5,143 crore out of this to 943,000 account holders till December 5.

While the Rs34,022 crore farm loan waiver scheme was initially aimed at reaching 8.9 million farmers, it was later scaled down to cover 5.6 million. The decision of the government followed farmer strike in Ahmednagar, Nashik, and Western Maharashtra.

The government said it identified and removed 2 million bogus accounts and 1.5 million applicants who did not meet the eligibility criteria when farmers applied for the scheme online. It finally identified 5.6 million eligible applicants who quoted 7.7 million bank accounts.

Livemint reported that more discrepancies were found in the list subsequently.

““An inefficient bureaucracy and banks, especially the co-operative banks, have let the scheme down,” an official told Livemint.

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