Bhubaneswar: While the Odisha government has introduced strict rules of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts for farmers willing to get loans for crops and sell their produce to government, huge discrepancy between registered farmers and those who have availed farm loans after Aadhaar linkage have now come to the fore.
As per figures released by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, out of 12, 35,758 farmers who registered for selling paddy, actual Aadhaar information of 3,27,089 farmers is mismatching with the data uploaded with the government.
This is despite the fact that the Registrar has made it mandatory to link bank accounts of the beneficiary farmers with their Aadhaar numbers before disbursement of crop loan.
Now while the State government has disbursed Rs 7,018 crore loan for 17, 26,003 farmers this Kharif season, Aadhaar linkage of only 9 lakh farmers have been completed.
So question arises that despite making Aadhaar linking mandatory for loans, on what basis so many farmers were sanctioned loans without linking. It is suspected that more than 8 lakh non-farmers could have taken loans.
“It is for sure those loans were issued to non-farmers under forged deals,” alleged Chandrakant Panda, a farmer leader.
As per data, even though 17 lakh farmers have availed loans, there are scores of farmers who are interested to avail loans by linking their Aadhaar cards but are unable to do so due to loopholes in government system.
“We are not getting any benefits as we are not able to link our Aadhaar numbers,” rued a farmer Prafulla Lenka.
When asked about the irregularities, Food Supplies Minister & Cooperation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain refused to comment on the matter.