In a huge relief to farmers, the Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to extend the deadline for enrollment to avail farm loan wavier. The deadline that was to end on September 15, has now been extended by seven days allowing more applications to be submitted.
Good news for Farmers: CM @Dev_Fadnavis instructed to extend the date for receiving online applications for historic loan waiver by 7 days.— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) September 14, 2017
Devendra Fadnavis' office took to Twitter to announce the government's decision on the extension. The extension comes in the backdrop of severe criticism over technical glitches in centers set up to help farmers enroll for the loan waiver scheme. The 7-day window is expected to help thousands of farmers who are eligible but weren't able to enroll to avail the Rs 3,400 crore loan waiver scheme that was announced earlier this year. Of the total 13.6 million farmers in the state, the Maharashtra government is targeting nearly 9 million for the benefits of the loan waiver.
The government's decision to extend the deadline by a week also comes a day after Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil claimed that more than 10 lakh fake bank accounts had been unearthed in the process of enrolling for farm loan waiver. The Maharashtra government, in an attempt to stop misuse of the scheme, digitized the enrollment process. The Aadhaar-linked online enrollment process, the government claimed, helped it filter eligible farmers from fake beneficiaries. The same, however, led to technical glitches in many farmer help centers set up in each district.