Agriculture

Kamal Nath govt to waive off outstanding farmer loans up to Rs 2 lakh

The Kamal Nath headed Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has rejected BJP’s charge that it is duping farmers in the name of loan waivers by waiving only small loans.

The government on Friday said around 57% of the 5.56 million beneficiary farmers would soon have their outstanding loans of over Rs 50,000 waived.

More than 3.8 million farmers had deposited their loan waiver applications until January 25, a senior official in the Madhya Pradesh government told ET, stressing on the popularity of the scheme.

“Only 1.14 lakh loan accounts-—which are 2% of the total 55.6 lakh loan accounts—have less than Rs 1,000 as outstanding,” the state’s principal secretary (agriculture) Rajesh Arora stated.

He stated the majority of the farmers, about 3.2 million in all, have outstanding loans above Rs 50,000, while about 1.1million farmers of them have outstanding loans between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh. Another 9.4 million farmers have loans of more than Rs 2 Lakh.

The state government has confirmed to waive off outstanding farmer loans up to the extent of Rs 2 lakh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accusing the Congress-led governments of not completing its promises on loan waivers in their entirety and extending the same to only a small proportion of farmers in states like Punjab and Karnataka.

The Kamal Nath government, however, has said it has the complete list of the 5.5 million farmer loan accounts and expects all to fill in forms for the waiver by February 5. It said the maximum loan accounts— 234,000—are in Sehore, the district of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has increased questions over the implementation of the scheme.

But the government said nearly 165,000 farmers in Sehore have already deposited their forms seeking the waiver. “We have received 38.76 lakh forms till January 24,” Rarora said.

The maximum forms have been got from Khargone (181,060), followed by Ujjain (176,775), Dhar (149,105), Rajgarh (144,450), Hoshangabad (119,329) and Vidisha (131,395).

BJP has, however, highlighted some media reports claiming farmers are finding meagre amount outstanding against their loan amount as per government lists and some have found their name in the lists though they do not have any outstanding loan.

A state government official said beneficiary farmers not finding their name in the government lists or finding a discrepancy in the amount mentioned in the same are supposed to fill up a “pink form” which will be cross-checked against the bank records after February 5. “About 2.65 lakh pink forms have also been submitted,” this official said.

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