New Delhi: Expressing serious concern over the implementation of Rs. 52,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme, government auditor CAG on Tuesday said in several cases ineligible farmers were given benefit while deserving ones were left out.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has also found instances of tampering of records and pulled up the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in the Finance Ministry for deficient monitoring of the multi-crore scheme.

“Overall, the Performance Audit revealed that in... (22.32 per cent of cases test checked) there were lapses/errors which raised serious concern about the implementation of the scheme”, said the CAG report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.

The report deals with Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDRS) 2008 under which 3.69 crore small and marginal farmers and 60 lakh other farmers were given debt relief to the extent of Rs. 52,516 crore.

The CAG report said in several cases “farmers who had taken loan for non-agricultural purposes or whose loans did not meet eligibility conditions, were given benefits under the scheme.”

Deserving farmers left out

It said several farmers who were eligible for the benefit under the scheme were not considered for loan waiver by the lending institutions.

Besides other observations, the report said the Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) were given benefit under the scheme in violation of the debt waiver guidelines.

The banks, it said, also claimed undue benefits like penal interest, legal charges, miscellaneous charges from the government. Under the scheme, banks were supposed to bear these charges themselves.

Referring to the issue tampering of records, the CAG suggested DFS should review such cases and take “stringent action” against erring officials and banks.

BJP smells scam

Citing the CAG report on farm loan waiver, BJP today alleged there was a "big scam" worth Rs 10,000 crore in implementation of the scheme and demanded strict action against those responsible for it.

"The UPA Government is for the scam, of the scam and by the scamsters... This is a huge scam of Rs 10,000 crore which stand looted in the Rs 50,000 crore scheme. This is a big
fraud committed on the nation and we want strict action," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporters outside Parliament.

He said the CAG report on farm loan waivers has come with hard evidences and "evidence in the farm loan waiver is a very big thing".

"The estimate is that there is a scam of more than Rs 10,000 crore in the Rs 52,000 crore loan waiver. In this scheme, more than 34 lakh farmers who were eligible for the waiver were not granted any concessions and 24 lakh ineligible farmers were given huge benefits of this loan waiver," Javadekar alleged.

"This is how the schemes are being manipulated by vested interests and this is the face of the UPA Government. We condemn it.


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