Can give proof of graft in UPA's loan waiver scheme: Anna

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Anna Hazare
Mumbai, Mar 17: Anna Hazare who has been spearheading a campaign against corruption averred on Sunday that he can submit evidence of the irregularities committed during the implementation of the farm loan waiver scheme in Maharashtra.

Interacting with newspersons in Nagpur, Hazare said: "If the state government is interested in going through the proofs, I am willing to hand them over to them."

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has already pointed out the lapses in the Rs 52,000 crore scheme announced by the ruling UPA back in 2008. The top auditor found that more than 13 per cent of the farmers who should have benefited from the waiver of their debts were not even included under the scheme.

The CAG's final report on the "Implementation of Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008" was presented in Parliament on Mar 5. It mentioned how loans amounting to Rs 20 crore were given away to farmers who should not have been allowed to benefit from the scheme or granted for non-agricultural purposes.

The auditor noted that there are irregularities in more than 22 per cent of the cases. According to the CAG, the government did not bother to get an acknowledgment from a third of the beneficiaries. This lapse allows these farmers to apply for a fresh loan without repaying the one taken earlier.

In around 22 per cent of the cases, the farmers did not receive the correct benefits. Moreover, the debts of farmers who had taken loans worth Rs 164 crore were waived off illegally.

Given the fact that loans availed by more than 3.7 crore beneficiaries were waived off till date, the CAG's findings are particularly significant. The opposition has demanded a CBI probe "to get the real picture".

BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said that the auditor only looked at a total of 90,000 cases. A more detailed inspection will reveal that thousands of ineligible farmers were wrongly given loans under the scheme, he added.

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