The massive Rs 34,000 crore farm loan waiver by Maharashtra government is the highest ever but availing benefits of the scheme is not easy. In an attempt to ensure that only farmers who have no way out reap the benefits, the Devendra Fadnavis has prepared a checklist of sorts to filter out beneficiaries of the loan waiver.
During his interactive program, Devendra Fadnavis said that only those farmers who are dependent completely on agriculture will be eligible for the loan waiver scheme. The eligibility criteria doesn't end there.
Who is not eligible?
- Farmers who have a secondary income and file tax returns for the same
- Those registered as value added tax payees (now GST)
- Farmers who are retirees with a monthly pension of Rs 15,000
- Farmers elected to the board of sugar co-operative mills
- Farmers who are members of district cooperative banks -Farmers who are part of agricultural produce marketing committees
- Farmers who are not registered on Maharashtra government's new loan disbursal system
Government officials claim that the checklist has been put in place to ensure that the waiver reaches the right people. The move is also to ensure that a large number of beneficiaries is filtered thoroughly.
In order to cross-verify the if a farmer eligible, the Maharashtra government is mulling bringing the loan waiver disbursal under Direct Transfer Benefit scheme. A private firm in coordination with the Chief Minister's office and the cooperative ministry is said to be gathering data of all beneficiaries of the loan waiver. The system, the government hopes, will weed out any chances of fraud. The Union government through the Direct Transfer Benefit portal has been able to disburse benefits of central schemes effectively to the eligible beneficiaries through bank transfers to verified accounts. Maharashtra hopes to do the same on the state level.
Farmers will have to register with the state portal once it is up and running and link their Aadhaar numbers to it. The system will record the income, land owned and farming equipment owned by the farmer before registering him or her. The data provided by the farmer will be cross-verified with other data available on the Aadhaar number. Data of every farmer who registers on the portal will be scrutinised to ensure that they do not fall under the exempt category.
While the integration of systems to carry out these verifications and compilation of data may take some time, farmers in Maharashtra have been advised to avail an interim loan of Rs 10,000 for sowing purposes.