Farmers in Madhya Pradesh who have started filing forms to claim loan waiver under the Jai Kisan scheme were in for a shock on seeing the amount marked against their names in the list of beneficiaries.
Shivnarayan and Shivlal from a village in Agar Malwa, 190 km from Bhopal, could not believe their eyes when they saw Rs 13 mentioned against their names.
The new Madhya Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Kamal Nath had announced to waive off loans up to Rs 2 lakh. The two farmers have taken over Rs 20,000.
"The state government had promised to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh. Forms were filled and I was expecting a complete waiver of my loan amount of Rs 20,000. But the list that has come to the panchayat says only Rs 13 has been waived," Shivnarayan said.
Shivlal looked angry. "I took a loan of Rs 20,000 from cooperative bank for urea, seeds and again Rs 3,815 for agriculture purpose. The total is Rs 23,815. If they are waiving the farm loan, they should have waived the entire amount. What is this Rs 5 or Rs 13?" he said.
Farmers from Khargone, even from Chief Minister Kamal Nath's constituency, found their names against amount as low as Rs 13 or Rs 232, instead of the Rs 2 lakh promised by the newly formed Congress government. Hameed Khan, a farmer, said he took a loan of Rs 10,000, but the loan waiver against his name was of Rs 232 only.
The list of the nationalised banks is also in English, which the farmers are unable to read. Standing in front of the panchayat's office at Agar Malwa, a farmer Babulal Yadav says, "I am illiterate. I can't read, everything is in English." Shankar Lal, another farmer, added, "The list should be in Hindi; this is so problematic."
Bank officials said they don't have a software in Hindi. "Our software is in English only, which we have to give at the branch level. The format is being sent by the head office and we don't have a Hindi software," said Roshan Kumar, manager, Canara Bank.
The government said these are technical errors and will be rectified soon.
"Under this scheme, over 55 lakh farmers are going to get the benefit. These cases are related to technical and human error and will be taken care of," said agriculture minister Sachin Yadav, adding such problems have happened during the previous government at the time of loan disbursal.
The BJP criticised the state government, saying the farmers will teach them a lesson in the Lok Sabha elections. Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargava said, "I am afraid most of the farmers will be cheated; they are even saying they don't need the loan-waiver certificate as it's of no use. Farmers will teach them a lesson in the Lok Sabha elections."
Over 31 lakh farmers have submitted their loan-waiver applications in gram panchayats till date. Applications for loan-waiver will be received from farmers till February 5.