Bhopal: In what can be called a cruel joke on suffering farmers in Madhya Pradesh, some of them are getting pennies in the name of loan waiver after the Congress government promised to waive debts up to Rs 2 lakh of each applicant.
A farmer in the Aagar Malwa district has received only Rs 13 under the loan waiver scheme. Shiv Lal Katariya, a farmer from Baijnath Nipania village, was shocked to see the list of beneficiary farmers in Panchayat Bhawan. “The government had promised to waive up to Rs 2 lakh of debt. I owe Rs 23,815 and in the hope of getting full relief, I also submitted the application. But I am speechless now… The list that has come in Panchayat Bhawan shows that only Rs 13 was disbursed to me,” Katariya told IANS.
Giving vent to his helplessness and anger, he said: “We are honest farmers and have been repaying the debt amount regularly. But now the ‘Babu’ says I did not owe any money on the date the scheme came into effect.” “There is definitely some irregularity. we have also complained to senior officers,” he added. The officers are, however, attributing such discrepancies to the faulty loan disbursement process.
“The irregularities committed at the time of giving loans are coming to fore now. Necessary action is being taken in this regard,” said state Minister Omkar Singh Markam. The Congress party, which formed government in the state post recent Assembly elections, had promised in its manifesto to waive farmers’ debts up to Rs 2 lakh. Chief Minister Kamal Nath had also signed the file at his oath-taking ceremony and applications were invited from January 15 to February 5. The amount was expected to be credited in farmers’ accounts from February 22. A total of 55 lakh farmers are supposed to get relief under the scheme, which would cost the state exchequer a whopping Rs 50,000 crore.