Loan waiver: 100 farmers linked to single Aadhaar card, government officials land in trouble

Farmers plans to gherao Parliament demanding better prices for their products, Freedom from debt

Mumbai/Maharashtra, October 25: The online registration for loan waiver implementation that was done by the Maharashtra government landed in problems. Over 100 farmers are found linked to a single Aadhaar number. Previously, Maharashtra government stressed on online registration by farmers with their Aadhaar, which is a unique identification number.

The government said that the Aadhaar-based linking will avoid any duplication and also fake accounts getting the benefit of the loan waiver. A senior official from the Maharashtra cooperation department showed a list of farmers having a common Aadhaar number, which has become a cause of concern for the government.

The official said that We always thought that the Aadhaar number will be used to check fake beneficiaries. But now, we do not know how to actually address the above challenge with so many farmers showing the same Aadhaar number. Even if we want to carry out a manual check, it would take weeks. The farming community is already agitated over the delay in implementation of the scheme.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called out an urgent meeting with the bankers on Wednesday to address issues like this. The officials of some banks also agreed that the data that was received from the online registration portal Aapale Sarkar varies from the data in their records.

The names of some farmers are missing and some do not match with the land size or type of loan. In several cases, the principal amount and interest are not matching resulting in suspicion.

A senior official of a leading public sector bank said that till the state officials verify the account and its loan amount, we cannot consider that account for loan waiver. Devendra Fadnavis said last week that it had that not been done, the banks would have mismanaged funds.

Previously in 2017, the Center made Aadhaar mandatory for availing crop insurance policies. As per the agriculture ministry’s directive, banks were asked to persuade farmers to furnish Aadhaar identification card at the time of sanction/renewal/disbursement/inspection of the loan or on a visit at bank branches.