Other States

Meerut farmers yet to link bank accounts with Aadhaar

Ramber Singh, a 52-year-old farmer in Meerut, was excited when the Uttar Pradesh government announced a farm loan waiver worth ₹36,359 crore for small and marginal farmers who had taken a crop loan up to ₹1 lakh till March 2016.

Mr Singh owns an acre of farm land and he had taken a loan of over ₹1 lakh from cooperative societies. But there is one problem that may bar him from getting the loan.

Lack of awareness

Owing to lack of awareness, Mr Singh has not linked his bank account to his Aadhaar number, which is mandatory to avail of the scheme. “I had no idea that I need to link my Aadhaar number with the bank account. Not only me, no one in my circle of farmer friends knows about it. Now that I am aware I will go and get my account linked with my Aadhaar number,” he said.

“The problem is that no official knows what is happening as far as the farm loan waiver is concerned. They tell us that the government is yet to decide who can benefit from the decision,” he added.

Mr Singh is not the only farmer who finds himself in this situation. A large number of farmers have not linked their bank accounts with their Aadhaar number, something that may adversely affect the implementation of UP government’s farm loan waiver.

This lack of awareness is not restricted to Meerut district alone. In other districts such as Bareilly, only 10,000 of the total 60,000 farmers have linked their Aadhaar with their bank account.

‘Organise camps’

But O.P. Badhera, the manager of a leading bank in Bareilly which is involved in the implementation of the loan waiver, said banks would soon organise camps in villages to ensure that all the eligible farmers complete the mandatory requirement.

V.M. Singh, an activist, questioned the intention and honesty of the state government over the farm loan waiver.

According to him, ₹36,359 crore was “grossly inadequate” to give relief to the distressed farmers of the State. He alleged that the “BJP government was only trying to fool the farmers.”

“The government had said the waiver would benefit 2.15 crore small and marginal farmers. If that is so, the government needs ₹2,15,000 crore as farmers who have taken a loan of up to ₹1 lakh are eligible,” he said.

“That is why ministers have now started saying only 86 lakh farmers will benefit from the loan waiver,” he added.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:23:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/meerut-farmers-yet-to-link-bank-accounts-with-aadhaar/article19335433.ece

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