A mockery: Yogi Adityanath’s paltry farmer loans in the name of relief

In April, the newly elected state government led by Yogi Adityanath announced a waiver of crop loans of up to Rs 1,00,000 per small and marginal farmer owning less than five acres of land in Uttar Pradesh. The scheme was expected to benefit 8.6 million farmers which would cost the state exchequer Rs 36,359 crore.

A few days ago Uttar Pradesh government initiated the process of handing over certificates of crop loans waiver worth Rs 7,371 crore in the first phase which would benefit 1,193,224 small and marginal farmers.

But the entire exercise has been reduced to mockery as farmers after farmers reported receiving paltry amount in the name of waiving their outstanding farm loans that they owed to the banks.

In a mockery of farm loan waiver, a marginal farmer has received a farm loan waiver certificate amounting to 19 paise. The Hindustan Times reported that Ishwar Dayal, a marginal farmer of Bhartana in Etawah of Uttar Pradesh, was on Monday handed over a certificate saying his outstanding farm loan amounting to 19 paise that he owed to the bank has been waived.

But he was not alone. Some 7,000 farmers were handed over certificates notifying the amount of their loans waived in Etawah. The Hindustan Times further reported that some 50 farmers got less than Rs 100 and 200 farmers got less than Rs 1,000 each. Some like Rama Nand got Rs 1.79 farm loan waived, and Munni Lal Bholi got outstanding loan of Rs 2 waived.

Livemint reported that farmers in districts like Hamirpur and Bijnor have received loan waiver certificates for amounts as low as Rs 10. In Hamirpur, at least 250 out of 6,000 farmers who received loan waiver certificates from the district officials on Monday got less than Rs 100, some as little as Rs 10.

The certificate distribution ceremony was attended by state Minister for Labour and Employment Exchanges, Manohar Lal (Mannu Kori). On receiving complaints, Mannu Kori said, “It might be due to some misprint in the certificate, the matter will be investigated and discrepancies will be corrected,” reported news18

NDTV reported that Ram Prasad from the Shahjahanpur district received Rs. 1.5 loan waiver while an elderly farmer in the Etawah district was handed a loan waiver certificate totalling Rs. 3. Many of the recipients spent more money in rickshaw or auto fare to attend the certificate distribution function that what they received from the government.

Shyamal Bikash Chakma

Shyamal Bikash Chakma is Consulting Editor of The aPolitical and a PhD candidate in Development Studies at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and recipient of the Felix Scholarship 2017.
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