The CAG report on the farm loan waiver scheme, pointing to several irregularities in its implementation — leaving out scores of eligible farmers and favouring many ineligible ones — has once again put the UPA government in the dock. The government’s role does not end after announcing a welfare programme with a bang. It has the responsibility to put in place an effective implementation mechanism to ensure that the target groups get the benefits. Our public service delivery mechanism, marred by poor governance and corruption, needs a complete overhaul. The UPA government will go down as independent India’s most corrupt regime.
The report “Sloppy loan waiver edges out deserving farmers: CAG” (March 6) does not surprise me at all. I know of two sons of a wealthy landlord in Andhra Pradesh in whose names farm loans were obtained. They got richer by a few lakhs as their loans were waived. The two men are happily employed in multinational companies in big metros. Not only did they corner the loan meant for poor farmers, they also got a waiver.
The UPA government’s announcement that it will discuss the irregularities in the farm loan waiver scheme appears to be aimed at cooling down the issue. The government already has too many corruption charges against it.
If the entire parliamentary session is eaten away by discussions on the unending chain of scams, where will our MPs find the time to deliberate on people’s issues?
It is distressing to note that a test check by the CAG found that the Rs. 52,000 crore scheme had left out 13.46 per cent of eligible farmers while 8.5 per cent who were eligible for neither debt waiver nor relief benefited.
The marginal and small farmers who were denied benefits should be immediately identified and given their due.
The CAG report on the much touted loan waiver scheme has exposed the government’s inability to implement its programmes without leakages and corruption. Vigour and enthusiasm shown while announcing schemes seldom reflect in their implementation. Unless the government improves its administrative abilities, all ambitious projects for the poor will be rendered a waste of taxpayers’ money, benefiting corrupt middlemen.
Vijay Shivram Menon,