Mumbai has 14,000 'farmers', government surprised over loan waiver applications
If the number of farm loan waiver applications are anything to go by, Mumbai has 14,000 farmers. Out of the 14,000 'farmers' who have applied for the loan waiver, 13,000 are from Mumbai city shocking the Maharashtra government.
The Devendra Fadnavis government announced the biggest farm loan waiver scheme in the country earlier this year. In a bid to ensure that the waiver reaches the correct beneficiary, the Maharashtra government opted for an online process to receive applications for loan waiver. To further make it a watertight process, the government insisted on Aadhaar-linked applications to cross verify details of each beneficiary.
The government announced that farmers can register for loan waiver schemes online at 26,000 'Aaple Sarkar' centers across the state starting July 24. So far 47.75 people claiming to be farmers have registered online. In all, 14,121 farmers from Mumbai have applied for the farm loan waiver while 13,204 of them are from Mumbai city. The numbers have confused the state government that is ensuring a transparent process to help farmers avail loan waiver.
The agriculture ministry officials believe that the data including address may be the result of faults with Aadhaar cards. Officials believe that since Aadhaar card was mandatory to register online, farmers who did not possess one may have gotten an Aadhaar card done in Mumbai but perhaps own farm land in other districts.
The Congress had torn into Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in July when he tweeted that farmers including 813 from Mumbai will be eligible for farm loan waiver. Mumbai city has no agricultural land and this time around the government has made it clear that the loan waiver scheme will only apply to cultivation and not agro-based industries.