230 crore worth irregularities in farm loan waiver: FM

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PCNew Delhi, August 27; Irregularities to the tune of Rs. 230 crore have been found in the farm loan waiver scheme and action is being taken in this regard, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday.

Irregularities have been observed in 3,36,516 accounts “involving Rs. 230 crore. These are the irregularities. Action is being taken….nobody will be spared. Nobody is being defended for the mistakes. But the mistakes are extremely small”, he said.

Mr. Chidambaram was replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

He said 3.73 crore farmers benefited to the extent of Rs. 52,259.86 crore under the Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008.

“With the scheme of the scale and magnitude that has been implemented, there will naturally be some errors of inclusion, some errors of exclusion”, he said.

The CAG had pointed errors in implementation of the farm debt waiver scheme and subsequently NABARD and RBI issued directions to lending institutions to examine cases of any irregularity.

He said the RBI and NABARD together have examined bulk of the accounts and “work is going on”. He added that the RBI had 1.85 crore beneficiary accounts to be inspected, of which they have verified 1.76 crore.

RBI found 56,322 cases of error involving Rs. 98.97 crore.

NABARD had to verify 1.88 crore accounts and it has completed 1.72 crore accounts. It found irregularities in 2,80,194 accounts involving Rs. 131.70 crore.

Under the scheme, direct agricultural loans disbursed by banks between April 1997 and March 2007 to farmers, which were overdue on December 31, 2007 and remained unpaid up to February 29, 2008 were eligible for debt waiver and debt relief.

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