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Posted at: Sep 12, 2017, 2:38 PM; last updated: Sep 12, 2017, 10:33 PM (IST)

Labour minister gives UP farmer Rs 10.37 to write off loan

Labour minister gives UP farmer Rs 10.37 to write off loan
Shanti was handed over a certificate of as little as Rs 10.37.

Shahira Naim

Tribune News Service

Lucknow, September 12

A farmer from Umri village in Hamirpur, Munni Lal, was in for a shock when at a public function Minister for Labour and Employment Exchanges, Manohar Lal alias Mannu Kori handed him a loan waiver certificate of Rs 215.03 under the BJP government’s much touted poll promise to write off loans of small and marginal farmers.

He immediately complained to the minister showing his bank passbook, which showed that he had a debt of Rs 50,000 against which he had received a certificate of mere Rs 215.03.

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While the minister said that it may have been a typing error, Munni Lal is not the only one who has been paid a pittance against his outstanding crop loans.

Another farmer, Shanti, wife of Avadh Bihari of the same village was handed over a certificate of as little as Rs 10.37.

As a matter of fact, the 45 farmers who were called on stage to receive the certificates from the minister on Monday many complained of getting these ridiculous amounts in the name of loan waiver.  

Around 12,460 farmers, just from the Hamirpur district alone are scheduled to get farm loan waivers in the first phase of the scheme.

If the Hamirpur incident is anything to go by, the much publicised BJP’s election promise of writing off loans up to Rs 1 lakh for state’s 86,000 small and marginal farmers is turning out to be a mockery.

The state budget has set aside Rs 36,000 crores for the loan-waiver scheme, which was repeatedly promised at every single election meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah during the long-drawn election campaign.

During his first cabinet meeting on April 4, CM Yogi decided to write off the crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh of 86,000 small and marginal farmers.

The ‘Krishi Rin Mochan Yojna’ (farm loan waiver scheme) was launched in Lucknow on August 17 in the presence of union home minister Rajnath Singh.

As per the schedule, September 5 onwards Yogi’s ministers were to distribute certificates in their respective districts while the money is to be deposited directly in the farmers’ bank accounts.

Hamirpur BJP MLA Ashok Kumar Singh Chandel said that he was not aware of such small amounts being distributed as no disgruntled farmer had contacted him.

However, principal secretary information Avanish Awasthi said that he has instructed the acting Hamirpur DM not to bother farmers to travel all the way to collect certificates for such small amounts.

He said that the department of agriculture would be requested to look into the complaint of the farmers. 

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