Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Probe sought into loan waiver scam-TIMES OF INDIA

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Probe sought into loan waiver scam

NAGPUR: Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti has expressed shock over the findings in theComptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India submitted in Parliament on Tuesday. The CAG report, Tiwari claimed, has pointed out lapses in 22% of waiver cases. The farm loan waiver was meant for debt-ridden poor farmers in suicide-prone Vidarbha but was availed of by well-off farmers from other regions, it is alleged.

"CAG report into the farm loans waiver of Rs52,000 crore has exposed massive fraud and irregularities. This was found out in audit of about 90,000 cases between April 2011 and March 2012. CAG found lapses in over 22% of the cases. The report has alleged that bank officials siphoned off money by granting waiver to around 10% people who were ineligible. Moreover, over 34% farmers were not issued debt waiver certificates barring them from getting get fresh institutional farm credit," said Tiwari.

"The CAG report is only tip of the iceberg. The government should appoint an enquiry commission to unravel the huge fraud on farmers," said Tiwari. The VJAS has been monitoring farm distress in the drylands of Vidarbha for nearly two decades.

"The loan waiver demand was considered in 2006 looking to the distressed dryland farmers of Vidarbha after prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the region. The farmers, reeling under debt burden, were committing suicide because of forcible recoveries by private moneylenders. But we were shocked when Rs 71,000 crore mega loan waiver was announced at national level with a restriction of 2 hectares of land that made most of Vidarbha farmers ineligible. In 2010 Maharashtra announced extended waiver of Rs. 11,000 crore to cover distressed farmers but even that did little to relieve farmers from the debt burden," said Tiwari demanding a detailed probe into leakages of the scheme.

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