Smelling a scam of Rs. 3,000 crore in farm loan waiver scheme, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the alleged siphoning of funds meant for distressed farmers.
A fortnight after launching Rs 50,000 crore farm debt waiver scheme named as 'Jai Kishan Rin Maafi Yojana' in the state, the chief minister claimed that a farm debt scam had come to light during the process of his new scheme for the welfare of farmers.
The Chief Minister said an inquiry has been ordered and officials have been told to lodge complaint in police stations about irregularities.
Calling the farm debt as a "very big scam", Nath said the irregularities came out when "we started preparing a list of farmers who are under debt" as part of our 'Jai Kishan Rin Maafi Yojana'.
He said the procedure began on January 15 when he announced the farm debt waiver scheme.
"The irregularities came out one by one as the procedure of filing loan waiver forms was started to maintain a list of exact number of farmers whose farm loans should be waived. During the process, we came to know that there were various farmers who did not take loans but they were under debt. There is debt against those farmers who have died some ten years ago," Nath told reporters.
The chief minister said several complaints regarding farm debt have been received so far and the process is still on.
"Cooperative banks have sanctioned several forged loans. Most of the farmers have complained that they did not take loans from any bank, but they are under debt. Such farmers are on the list of debtors. This is a very big scam. There is Rs 2,000 crore to 3,000 crore scam in it. We never thought that such a scam would come out," Nath said.
Hailing his 'Jai Kishan Rin Maafi Yojana' a milestone, Nath said it would benefit 55 lakh small and marginal farmers.
Nath said the loan waiver forms would be submitted till February 5 and the farmers would start getting the benefits of the scheme from February 22.