Mumbai: The state finance ministry has taken a serious note of the Rs. 297 crore expenditure for loan waiver in 2009 in Mumbai handed out to unknown farmers. The ministry has warned banks, including Mumbai District Central Cooperative (DCC) bank and nationalised banks, and asked them to furnish name of beneficiaries in the state or repay it from their own balance sheets.
According to an official from the cooperative department, around one lakh farmers from Mumbai and suburban received benefits of the 2009 loan waiver scheme announced by the state government after the Centre’s historic loan waiver in 2008. “According to provisions, there are four types of saving of government documents. Some files are to be kept secure for three years, some for ten and highly sensitive files to be kept safe for a period of 15 years.
“The banks which had waived off loans in 2009 in Mumbai didn’t submitted names of beneficiary farmers to the state cooperative department and even not maintained a record. We have repeatedly asked for the names of farmers, but the banks are not responding,” the official said.
Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar warned, “I have taken congizance of reports that Mumbai DCC has given out loan waivers to the farmers to the tune of Rs. 72 crore. After this report, our department has decided to review the 2009 scheme.” “In 2009, various banks in Mumbai had waived off loan amounting Rs. 287.19 crore to the farmers. The banks are not ready to furnish information about beneficiaries. I have informed the banks either to furnish the information or we will recover the amount from the banks,” the minister added.