Uddhav Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is ready to roll out its new farm loan waiver scheme from February 22. For this, about 28.5 lakh farmers have so far been found eligible for availing the scheme’s benefit which is estimated to cost Rs 18,000 crore in Maharashtra.
Of the 34.5 farm loan accounts shortlisted for the benefit, so far about 28.5 lakh accounts have been found to be eligible
Scrutiny of other applications is still on. At the cabinet meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar also discussed plans to announce an incentive scheme for farmers who pay their loans regularly and a separate waiver scheme for those with arrears of above Rs 2 lakh.
The state cabinet raised the limit of the Contingency Fund (CF) of Maharashtra from Rs 150 crore to Rs 10,150 crore. The government has projected that about Rs 10,000 crore of loan waiver will have to be distributed under the new scheme before the year-end.
On Wednesday, the cabinet decided to withdraw the funds from the CF which would later be recouped. On December 27, the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government had announced that the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Shetkari Karzmukti Yojana where a full loan waiver of agriculture crop loan availed between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019 and whose total arrears as on September-end stood at Rs 2 lakh or less is to be granted.
In order to curb bogus beneficiaries and track multiple accounts, the government has decided to link Aadhaar numbers of the beneficiary farmers to the loan account. Details like loan amount and loan account number will be reviewed. If there is any error in it farmers can file a complaint and resolve it. If the information is correct it will be authenticated using biometrics or one-time password (OTP) and the respective amount will be deposited in their account. Also unlike the previous loan waiver scheme implemented by Devendra Fadnavis-led government, a decision to directly deposit the waiver amount into beneficiary loan accounts has been taken.
The state government had announced in January that the farmers whose crop loan and restructured loan is above Rs 2 lakh will not be eligible for any benefit under the scheme. The government has also decided to withdraw Rs 10,000 crore from its contingency fund for the implementation of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule farm loan waiver scheme. A statement from Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that an ordinance to facilitate the withdrawal will be promulgated soon.