Saturday, December 5, 2009

Apathy toward the Vidarbha Farmers: PAC confirms CAG report of Massive Corruption and Irregularities

Apathy toward the Vidarbha Farmers: PAC confirms CAG report of Massive Corruption and Irregularities

Nagpur-6TH DECEMBER 2009

on 1st July 2006 ,Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan singh declared Rs.3750 crore relief package to dying vidarbha cotton farmers that was aimed to address two basic hardships of these distressed farmers one is mounting debt and other is complete dependence on rain fed farming in dry land vidarbha as due to crop failure more than 96% cotton farmers were at default with banks and more than 98% farmers are dry land farmers not having assured water supply under any type irrigation facility hence Rs. 2500 crore where assigned for crating irrigation facilities in west vidarbha and Rs. 800 crore where given to banks as amount of interest on the overdue debt of cotton farmers of west vidarbha ,this was aimed to restore institutional credit to farmers to stop their exploitation from private money lenders and these so called relief were declared for the distressed farmers to stop their suicides and to reduce despair and gloom in the region but after it’s evolution after three and half year as per the 15th report of Public accounts committee (PAC) tabled in Maharashtra legislative assembly on 11th November by PAC chairman BJP MLA Girish Bapat from Pune has pointed out that the massive corruption in the in Rs.3750/- Prime Minister Relief Package for distressed vidarbha farmers resulted in it’s failure and also suggested very stern action under Indian penal code against all erring officers involved in the implementation of relief packages announced to stop farmers suicides in western vidarbha,

Public accounts committee (PAC) was asked to submit recommendation and ATR on the fact finding report investigated by director of relief package based in Amaravati ,constituted after the CAG has given shocking submission that in prime minister relief package to stop west vidarbha’s farmers suicides has been failed to serve it’s basic purpose and complete apathy of Maharashtra administration and institutionalized corruption forcing the complete failure of relief packages at all the fronts Kishore tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS), informed today

Here are Details of CAG Report

QUOTE

THE CAG report finds a serious problem with the micro-irrigation and assured irrigation projects worth over Rs 2300 crore in the packages.
The PM package has a component of Rs 2177 crore to create irrigation potential for 1.6 lakh hectares in six suicide-prone districts. Of this, Rs 2085.38 crore was to fund eight major, nine medium and 65 minor irrigation projects as grant from the Centre.
However, the Government of India revised in December 2006 the eligibility criteria for funding. According to the revised criteria, if the state government fails to comply with the agreed date of
completion, the amount released would be treated as loan and recovered as per usual terms of central loan recovery.
The CAG report states that the possibility of completion of projects within the stipulated time is remote. "This presents the risk of Rs 2085.38 crore (or 56 per cent of total package amount) becoming loan instead of grant

While there is much brouhaha over the Shylockian moneylenders exploiting the beleaguered farmers in Vidarbha, the CAG's performance audit of the farmers' packages finds cooperative and nationalized banks are no different. Castigating the cooperative and nationalized banks for levying huge interests on crop loans, the CAG report found that the nationalized and cooperative banks not only levied interest more than the principle amount to the tune of Rs 29 crore, but also wrongly claimed it in waiver in six affected districts.
For instance, the seven branches of district central cooperative (DCC) bank test-checked by the surveyors had levied an interest of Rs 5.13 crore as against principal of Rs 3.19 crore, resulting in excess claim of Rs 1.94 crore.That's not all. The CAG found that the DCC banks and rural cooperative societies charged an interest at the rate of 17 per cent per annum instead of 14 in over four lakh accounts involving principal amount of Rs 514.64 crore. This resulted in excess claim of interest at three per cent per annum. The penal interest of three per cent per annum works out to Rs 15.44 crore, it says.
Importantly, the CAG says farmers did not benefit from interest waiver. For, their incomes did not augment in any way. The state government had in its Rs 1075-crore package in 2005 December waived interest on crop loans up to Rs 25,000 taken by farmers of six districts from all DCC, national and rural banks. The government only
considered outstanding loans as on November 30, 2005. These were to be rescheduled at 9 per cent interest repayable in three equal annual installments with a two-year moratorium period. The moratorium period ended with the 2007 fiscal year.

The PM package had waived interest on all agricultural loans overdue as on June 2006 and reschedule the loans. Banks claimed a total interest waiver of Rs 824.99 crore, with the state's share being Rs 356 crore. However, as the CAG report says, the banks extended crop loans to only 4.84 lakh farmers out of a total 17.64-lakh farmers in the six most affected districts.So only about 35 per cent farmers got
institutional credit, when the proposal was to reschedule the loans of 9.29 lakh cases (about 60 per cent), which had an outstanding principal amount of Rs 1369.85 crore. The CAG says fresh crop loan disbursement actually dipped to 637.88
crore in 2007 from Rs 9.29 crore in 2006, when the PM, Dr Manmohan Singh, announced the package in Nagpur. The CAG report curiously quotes the Principle Secretary, Cooperation,as having replied to the query pertaining to decline in the number of fresh loan cases that 1,92,745 borrowers were landless farm workers who did not require any crop loan, 26,400 borrowers had died, 25,129 farmers had sold their land (in that year), 21,125 had left villages and 30,715 did not require any loan. The 62,807 cases were marred by disputes of lack of essential documents while in 85,975 cases the farmers had long-term loans. The CAG has objected to the fact that the government should not have waived the interest on the loans outstanding on the nearly two-lakh landless labourers.
Furthermore, the CAG report states that the government's ban on illegal money lending did not stand before the high court. The money-lending act may be reexamined in the light of decisions by High Court, it has recommended.

The over Rs 5000-crore special relief packages for Vidarbha farmers
announced by the chief minister and prime minister in 2005 and 2006 have flopped.
As the CAG's performance audit of farmers' packages finds that not only were the packages tardy in implementation, but also mindless in conceptualization an "inconsistent with local needs." Result: The money did not help mitigate the gargantuan agrarian crisis or even reduce farmers' suicides.In CAG's evaluation, "the possibility that agrarian distress essentially caused by un-remunerative agriculture would start rising again in the closing years of the package (2008-09)." It warns that distress could increase significantly after the expiry of the moratorium on loan recovery. The return on investment (RoI) of a typical cotton farmer, the CAG found, was a shocking minus two per cent before the implementation of packages. Which meant a farmer was in losses the day he went for sowing of seeds. It shot up to seven per cent in the first year of the package, and then dwindled to five per cent in the second and two per cent in the third year.
Effectively, a farmer is in losses all through the package-implementation years -– a reflection of which would be seen in 2008-09 when moratorium ends.
That, say sources, is the real face of the crisis – the pathetic income standards, if one compares these income standards with the rest of the state.
"Farmers' suicides shot up dramatically even when the two packages were in vogue," says the report, which was tabled before the state legislature on April 27,2008 just hours before the end of its budget session.

UNQUOTE

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reports massive corruption in Rs.3750/- crore Prime Minister Relief Package

The 15th report of Public accounts committee (PAC) tabled in Maharashtra legislative assembly on 11th November by PAC chairman BJP MLA Girish Bapat from Pune has pointed out that the massive corruption in the in Rs.3750/- Prime Minister Relief Package for distressed vidarbha farmers resulted in it’s failure and also suggested very stern action under Indian penal code against all erring officers involved in the implementation of relief packages announced to stop farmers suicides in western vidarbha,

.The 15th report of Public accounts committee (PAC) has blamed irrigation department ,agriculture department and co-operative banks for siphoning out thousands crore by the complete understanding of concern ministers and executives in the top end of govt. in Mantralaya.some of officers who was involved in irregularities and corruption of thousand crore has taken voluntary retirement from state Govt. service with due consent of concern minister .all contract or supply order of relief work and materials was fabricated and most of the money was diverted to the ministers, contractors and officers even after PAC asked for immediate action till date there is no action against the officers or the banks ,PAC report added.

The 15th report of Public accounts committee (PAC) has expressed shock and displeasure over the extreme apathy of executive to provide ex-gratis aid to kin of deceased farmers .In some cases bribe was demanded from kin of deceased farmers who committed suicide to make illegible for the aid .this is sheer apathy and indicates inefficient functionary in administration , Public accounts committee (PAC) said in the report.

Public accounts committee (PAC) has asked Govt. to arrange for the detail probe in all cases of irregularities and malpractices in relief packages and in providing ex-gratia and to take stringent action against those already found guilty.ATR should be submitted to Public accounts committee (PAC),it recommended. Public accounts committee (PAC) has asked for Action Taken Report (ATR) to be submitted in winter session of legislative assembly starting from 8th December in Nagpur.

Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS),farmers advocacy group who have already lodged complaints against on going massive corruption in farmers relief packages ,now urged Govt. to tale stern action against all concern ministers and officers involved in the corruption, Kishore tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJAS), informed today.

Please arrange to release this press note

Thanking you,

Yours Faith Fully

Kishor tiwari

President

Vidarbha jan andolan samiti

kishortiwari@gmail.com

vidarbhacrisis.blogspot.com

contact-09422108846

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