Co-op dept in fix over farmers’ fake accounts in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: With the paddy procurement process already commencing for this season, the Cooperation department has suspected nearly two lakh farmer’s bank accounts to be fake and directed the district officials to verify these accounts for the benefit of actual farmers.

A status of farmer registration and marketable surplus of paddy reveals that in all districts there is a gap between number of farmers actually registered and number of farmers in respect of whom verification has been completed and marketable surplus generated.

As per the government reports, as many as 9,21,914 farmers have registered with the government for the procurement process. However, 2,12,867 of the registered accounts are suspected to be fake accounts and are pending for verification.

While the Kharif paddy procurement has already started in Kalahandi district, 12,514 farmers’ accounts have still not been verified. Similarly, 16,990 accounts in Ganjam district, 14,689 in Balasore district have been suspected to be fake accounts.

The Cooperation department therefore has directed the District Collectors to verify all the registered accounts so that the deposits are done in the accounts of actual farmers.

“Around 2 lakh account passbooks have been pending for verification. The accounts don’t tally with the system. Therefore we have directed the District Collectors to make necessary corrections by asking the correct account numbers of the farmers. After their verification, we will deposit the money in the accounts,” informed Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro.

This apart, the cooperation department has also facilitated provisions for the sharecroppers to sell paddy in the godowns.

However, the farmers in Kalahandi, unable to get themselves registered for selling the paddy in the government godowns, are making arrangements for a third party instead of selling it to the government.

“We haven’t been given tokens for paddy procurement, neither we are aware of where the tokens are being given. We are worried about selling the paddy. We have borrowed loans from the banks and need to repay them anyhow,” said Dingar Sabar, a farmer.

“The godowns don’t open. We are searching for third parties to sell paddy. We don’t have any other option for our survival,” said another farmer, Jagannath Bisoyi.

It has been reported that land records of 96,714 farmers hasn’t undergone verification till now. The marketable surplus in respect of farmers whose land details have not been verified have not been considered for generation of marketable surplus.

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