20, Oct 2015
Funds From Govt’s 0% Scheme Embezzled
At a time when suicides by MP farmers follow ng scanty rain and poor yield have brought back focus on their plight, over 1.77 akh ghost farmers have al egedly benefitted from in erest subsidies on loans.
Putting a question mark on the much hyped 0% interest farm loan scheme of the state government, a series of RTI queries by TOI revealed hat between 2007-08 and 2012-13, interest subsidies meant for marginal farmers were embezzled by co-operative banks in the name of 1,77,956 `ghost’ farmers.This happened while close o 10,000 farmers committed suicides for various reasons n MP in the past eight years n the state according to NCRB data.
As per norms, a farmer rom MP gets crop loan at 0% interest rate. Actually co-operative banks charge 11% interest, a little over half of it (6 percentage points) is subsidized by state government and the rest (5 percentage points) by he National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard).
As each farmer’s interest is subsidized partly by wo departments Nabard and state government-request for interest subsidy or the same farmer is sent by banks to both Nabard and state government, each financial year. It clearly means, the number of farmers for whom interest subsidy is being demanded from Nabard and state government should be the same.However, replies sought by TOI under RTI, revealed shocking facts.
NABARD, in its reply said that in 2007-08, request or interest subvention of 20,91,113 farmers was sent by co-operative banks, while he state co-operatives department said that interest subsidy requests of 20,84,550 farmers were sent to the state government the same year -ideally these numbers should have been the same. However, in this case, requests of 6,563 additional farmers were sent to Nabard, which sources claim are `ghost’ farmers.