Surely after reading this many people will be stumped by the revelation that there were farmers in Mumbai. Yes, way back in 2009, there were more than 1.5 lakh farmers in the commercial capital of India where having a 500 sq ft place (not land) is a dream of seven million people – those who are either staying on rent or sleeping in the worst conditions in jhuggis and pavements. This revelation has just come when the Maharashtra government found that about 24,600 people from Mumbai have applied for farm loan waiver benefits this year. But this is not something new to the officials and the government. The only thing, the number of farmers now have decreased.
Maharashtra had written off bad loans worth Rs 287 crore in Mumbai in 2009, when the last farm loan waiver scheme was implemented. Outstanding loans of 1.5 lakh people were written off under the farm loan waiver benefit. The government is still clueless about those beneficiaries. Four public sector banks and a leading cooperative bank figure among the financial institutions that had then provided the loans, which were subsequently written off.
The fraud is very deep and the statements contradictory. The State Level Bankers Committee had earlier submitted to the government a data which shows that 89 lakh farmers in the state had availed farm loans, but the records also indicate just over 77 lakh farmers actually applied for farm loan waiver benefits.
Anyway, the governments have their own way of collecting information. Maharashtra government also must be knowing where that land in Mumbai is where so many ‘farmers’ are busy farming.