Despite a severe financial crunch, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had kept his promise to the people to waive gold loans for people belonging to below povert line (BPL) category, said Cooperation Minister I. Periyasamy here on Friday.
Speaking to reporters, he said that during electioneering, the DMK had indeed said that it would waive loans to eligible people - for the needy and whose annual income was very less. Those who had pledged gold jewellery up to a maximum of 40 grams (five sovereigns) - with one Aadhaar card and one name - were eligible.
Knowing for sure that the AIADMK would lose the Assembly elections, the then CM Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam had also announced the waiver scheme with a malicious intent. Now, the officials have unearthed a scam wherein a majority of the borrowers of jewel loans during the AIADMK rule were neither farmers nor had any cultivable lands.
Mr. Periyasamy said that the government had ordered a thorough probe and was waiting for the report. It is learnt that even some pawn brokers had pledged gold jewellery. For instance, a pawn broker in Tiruvannamalai had taken 622 loans by pledging five sovereigns of gold for each loan.
In many cases, people had taken loans after pledging fake jewellery. While the AIADMK claimed to have issued gold loans to 48 lakh borrowers across Tamil Nadu (40 grams each), only 22 lakh among them appeared genuine. The AIADMK is duty-bound to answer people as most of the beneficiaries belonged to their party.
Worried about the exposure, the AIADMK has started blaming the DMK and Mr. Stalin for the fiasco.
In crop loans too
Likewise, in crop loans issued during the AIADMK rule, there were many malpractice. For instance, by submitting documents for one acre, the borrowers had taken loans for seven acres and so on. The then government had issued ₹2,000-crore crop loans, which would also be probed, Mr Periyasamy added.