Around Rs. 40 crore for debt waiver scheme lies uncollected with the banks
The union government had launched the agricultural debt waiver and debt relief scheme in 2008 which was meant for loans disbursed before 1997 and covered the loans disbursed by various cooperative societies for lift irrigation, poultry farming, fishery and diary development. The banks were made responsible for verifying the eligibility of the farmers and the audit of the banks was to be conducted by the office of the Commissioner of Cooperative which could recall the grants released by the banks with 6% interest in case of fraudulent disbursal.
As the scheme was called off in 2010, the excess amount lying with the banks was to be recalled. However, the audit report of the office of the commissioner of cooperatives of Maharashtra, obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, shows that even after three years of expiry of the scheme Rs. 39.44 crore unutilized grant money is lying with different nationalised, urban, district cooperative and district land development banks.
The Auditor General of Maharashtra has pulled up the cooperative department saying that the commissioner’s office should have taken strong steps to recover the money so that it could have been utilized for other purposes.