The crop loan waiver scheme launched by the JD(S)-Congress coalition government over a year ago has had a near cent per cent success rate in terms of outreach. This is going by the farmer self-declaration forms received under the scheme that was a whopping 99.7%, data shows. As many as 90.11% of the total 26.10 lakh farmers eligible for loan waiver scheme have so far received the waiver. As of now, 23.52 lakh farmers, including 14.74 lakh farmers in cooperative sector, have reaped the benefit of the scheme. In terms of payment, of the ₹16,644 crore loan waiver amount, ₹12,897 crore or 77.48 % of the payment has been made in just over a year after the scheme was launched.
Of the total 19.1 lakh crop loans in the cooperative sector, 19.03 lakh farmer self-declaration forms were collected (99.65%) while for the 16.34 lakh loans in commercial sector, the government received 16.29 lakh self-declaration forms (99.7%) in commercial banks. “This shows that the farmers’ interest in the scheme was very high and the near 100% participation shows the scheme was a success,” a senior government official said.
Incidentally, when the loan waiver scheme was launched, outstanding crop loan in commercial banks and cooperative sector stood at ₹27,330 crore and ₹11,012 crore respectively. Karnataka had been reeling under severe drought in the preceding years, leaving farmers who had taken loans bereft.
However, though farmers’ participation was very high overall, the eligibility criteria laid down by the government to weed out farmers in the creamy layer meant that not all of those who submitted the self-declaration forms were eligible for the benefit.
Besides, those who were ineligible, including those paying income tax and government servants, farmers with loans in both sectors were eligible to benefit only in the cooperative sector.
While self-declaration was submitted for 16.29 lakh accounts in commercial banks, after the eligibility criteria was implemented 10.7 lakh farmers with an outstanding loan amount of ₹16,376 crore became eligible for ₹2-lakh loan waiver. In all, ₹8,209 crore was identified for loan waiver of which ₹6,924 crore of 8.96 lakh loan accounts were cleared to green list, which meant they were eligible to receive the benefit. So far, ₹6,139 crore of 8.78 lakh accounts have been paid. “Nearly 2 lakh loan accounts in the commercial bank sector could be bogus crop loans for non-existent or ineligible farmers.
Making Aaadhar, ration card, and land survey number mandatory has kept these ineligible loans out of the waiver purview,” Head Special Cell of CLWS Munish Moudgil said. Similarly, of the 19.03 lakh loan accounts in the cooperative sector for which self-declaration forms were received, 17.52 lakh loan accounts with an outstanding ₹10,193 crore became eligible. With a cap of ₹1 lakh for loan waiver scheme in cooperative sector, ₹8,435 crore has been fixed as the loan waiver amount in the cooperative sector.