The Maharashtra government has saved Rs 10,000 crore in taxpayers' money by implementing its farm loan waiver scheme through an online application process, a Cooperation department official said Tuesday. The online application process ensured that 33 lakh farmers who were not eligible were removed from the waiver scheme, he claimed.
He said the State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) initially had data of 89 lakh farmers in Maharashtra who were eligible for a loan waiver totalling Rs 34,000 crore. However, when the details of these farmers were sought by the government, the SLBC could furnish the same for only 71 lakh farmers, he added.
"Of this 71 lakh, the government found 56 lakh farmers were eligible for loan waiver. A sum of Rs 18,071 crore has been released to 43.2 lakh farmers so far," the official informed. "If the online application process was not done, the government's money, which is taxpayers' money, would have been released into bank accounts of persons who had not taken loans," he said.
Under the state government's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krishi Sanman Yojana, loans up to Rs 1.51 lakh of individual farmers are to be waived off irrespective of the size of their landholding. SLBC is an inter-institutional forum for coordination and joint implementation of development programmes and policies by all the financial institutions operating in a state. Although the SLBC is envisaged as a bankers forum, government officials are also included..
(With inputs from agencies.)