Maharashtra's Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was taken by surprise when he learnt that Mumbai is home to as many as 694 farmers on the loan waiver list. He has now ordered a thorough inquiry and scrutiny before ordering the waiver of loans.
These farmers figure in the list of probable beneficiaries eligible for benefits under the Rs 34,000-crore loan waiver scheme+ announced by the state government last month.
The Mumbai city and its suburbs are urbanised areas, leaving little scope for farming activity in the country's commercial nerve centre.
A district-wise list of beneficiary-farmers, released by the chief minister on Twitter last evening, includes names of 694 cultivators from the Mumbai city and 119 from its suburbs.
A majority of beneficiaries are from suicide-prone districts like Yavatmal, Buldhana and Amravati, all located in Vidarbha region.
As per the scheme, all the eligible farmers will get benefit of waiver of up to Rs 1.50 lakh loan outstanding till June 30, 2016.
Talking to reporters, Fadnavis said, "Even I was surprised to find these two cities in the list. The 'beneficiary' farmers from these two districts would be scrutinised thoroughly before sanctioning waiver of their loans."
The chief minister said he has asked officers concerned to look into the genuineness of these farmers from the two urban centres.