LUCKNOW: The much-hyped farmers’ loan waiver in Uttar Pradesh has come as a rude shock to many farmers, in different districts, who received waiver certificates of measly sums like Rs 10, Rs 200, Rs 350, and Rs 500.
Programmes were held in many places to make a show of distribution of the certificates in the presence of ministers in charge of districts. Yet what the farmers received were peanuts. The ministers waved off questions about this shocking apathy with excuses about presumed typing errors and faulty software.
In Hamirpur, while Nirmala Devi of Umri village got a loan waiver of just Rs 10.37 against a loan of Rs 1.55 lakh, Munni Lal of Maudaha village was given a loan waiver certificate of Rs 215 against his loan of Rs 40,000. Only in the case of Shivpal, a farmer who had taken a loan Rs 93,000 for buying seeds and fertilisers, was the waiver of some value – Rs 20,271, though it is only a fraction of his debt and his expectation.
Yunus Khan, who had an unpaid loan of Rs 60,000, which he had taken ahead of the last sowing season, got a waiver certificate in which he was given succour of just Rs 38.
The Yogi Adityanath government at it first cabinet meeting on April 4 had announced that crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh of around 86 lakh small and marginal farmers of the state would be waived off. The state exchequer had to bear the burden of Rs 36,000 crore to fulfil this promise which BJP had made during UP poll campaign and which was reiterated by the party manifesto—Sankalp patra—as well.
There was hope for the poor farmers when the state budget presented by the Adityanath government in the Assembly on July 12 had a provision of Rs 36,000 crore earmarked to keep the commitment.
But what they received in the name of relief has been nothing more than a mockery of their poverty. It was not only Hamirpur, where such low amounts figured on the loan waiver certificates issued to the distraught farmers, similar travesties were reported from other places like Sitapur and Barabanki.
Radhey Lal and Lalta Prasad of Sitapur were shocked to have got only Rs 55 and Rs 87 waived off, respectively.
The ministers of Adityanath government were trying to blame it on typing error or faulty software. Hamirpur minister in0charge Manohar Lal (Mannu Kori) who distributed the certificates on Monday, when confronted about the loan waivers as low as Rs 10.37, he shrugged it off calling it “either a misprint or a fault with the software being used to prepare the certificates.”
“We will go to the bottom of the issue and get it rectified soon,” said the minister nonchalantly.
Cabinet Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, in-charge of Sitapur, also repeated the same claims about possible typing errors. “As the task is gigantic, the possibility of mistakes in a few certificates can’t be ruled out. We will certainly get it inquired and rectify the mistake soon,” she said.