Famers under the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh are receiving farm loan waivers to the tune of 19 paise under the Rs.30,729 Crore farm loan waiver. Many suspect that this may be a ploy by the Adityanath government to increase the number of beneficiaries of the scheme.
The UP government is giving out these certificates- that certify the loans being waived off- at elaborate functions attended by prominent state ministers. However, these cause embarrassment and humiliation to farmers who receive loan waivers worth of Rs. 2, 19 Paise, and so on, at such elaborate proceedings.
According to Devendra Gandhi, a social rights activist from Hamirpur, on Monday, the district administration distributed loan waiver certificates to around 6,000 farmers, out of which at least 250 farmers have got waivers of less than Rs100. It is not clear why the amounts are so low.
Along with this, in the efforts to get their hands on such a certificate, farmers incur costs to the tune of Rs. 200 and ultimately discover they have been granted waivers of Rs.10 or Rs.15. Shambhu Nath, a marginal farmer and daily wager in Jata Village of Uttar Pradesh wants to “go to the bank manager and shout at him and ask him why he gave my name for this farm loan waiver” after he lost Rs.218 as the cost of travelling to collect a certificate waiving off Rs. 10 from his loans.
Facing criticism but defending the administration as well, Avanish Awasthi, a senior UP Government official, tells NDTV, “I got to know of one incident and I told that particular DM to ensure that such small amounts should go directly to the accounts and that the farmers are not made to collect certificates for the same.”
Upon being asked if there was a mistake in the conversions which took place for the loan waiver, a bank official, on request of anonymity, told the National Herald, “There is no fault in accounting. These farmers had taken the loan but had repaid most of it on time. The bank waived off the rest of the money – which sometimes is as less as ₹20 or ₹ 200. We were asked to waive off loans of farmers who had taken crop loan up to ₹1 lakh. We followed the rule book – in letter and in spirit”
Another incident such incident was that of farmer Shanti whose loan of Rs. 50,000 loan was met with a loan waiver of Rs. 10.37, only.
However, some claimed the scheme to be satisfying as well. Dinesh Singh, a farmer from Mohanlalganj, said, “The loan waiver scheme was implemented without any hindrance. I met bank officials and showed them the paper. They asked for the Aadhaar card and that’s all.” His loan of ₹1 lakh has been waived off in one stroke.
Meanwhile, the Adityanath government is picking on these success stories where bigger amounts have been sanctioned, by directing all district magistrates to ‘release to the media’ – in a letter from UP agriculture production commissioner- all instances where larger loan waivers of the maximum Rs.1 Lakh, have been waived.