Bhopal: Launching a scathing attack on the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP on Thursday accused the ruling Congress of jugglery on the pretext of farm loan waiver.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleged that the state government is pressurising Primary Agriculture Co-operative Societies (PACS) of contributing portion of waiver amount from their own funds. The opposition also staged a walk out from MP assembly on the issue.
Heated exchanges broke out between the cO-operative affairs minister Govind Singh and BJP MLAs, including the leader of opposition Gopal Bhargav, as soon as the opposition alleged that state government was exerting pressure on PACS to share a portion of loan waiver burden and government won’t offer them 100 per cent amount in lieu of loan waiver.
Former parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra claimed that the department of co-operative affairs was forcing PACS to offer assent that they would be bearing the difference amount of loan waiver and the money offered to district co-operative banks.
Mishra said that CM Nath on Wednesday had told the House he would reveal the farm loan waiver details, including the arrangement of required funds, on March 5 and added that the state government’s secret plan was to burden cooperative societies.
Amid denials from the co-operative affairs minister Govind Singh, Mandsaur BJP MLA Yashpal Singh Sisodia flashed a copy of the letter written by Commissioner (Coop) to his subordinates in which the department has issued instructions on sharing of loan burden by PACS.
The letter accessed by News18 claims that 50 per cent, 75 per cent and 100 per cent amount would be made available to these credit societies through banks for various categories of loans and their board of directors is required to assign an approval that says these organisations would bear the difference amount of loan waiver and the money offered to them under the Jai Kisan loan waiver scheme.
Govind Singh kept reiterating that the Congress government was committed to waiving off farm loans upto Rs 2 lakh for eligible farmers, but refused to accept that state government was pressurising co-operative societies.
As the verbal spat intensified, the BJP MLAs staged a walkout in protest. The opposition lawmakers kept raising slogans against the Congress government outside the House.
However, lending credence to BJP’s allegations, the Co-operative Bank Employees’ Federation in MP on Thursday sent a letter to Commissioner (Co-op) opposing the proposed loan waiver scheme. “Once the credit societies bear the loan waiver burden, these organisations would close down,” said the Union in its letter.
Afterwards, Co-operative and Apex bank would also close down, saying this the union further sought the difference amount to be shared by the state government so that the cooperative organisations could be strengthened.
While speaking to News18, GR Nimgaonkar, Union’s general secretary, alleged that PACS — the backbone of the cooperative sector — won’t be able to sustain this burden. “Several of the 28 district central co-operative banks are not able to offer its staff the benefits of the seventh pay commission due to losses, and burdening them further could prove a financial disaster,” Nimgaonkar said.
He also alleged massive corruption in loan disbursement by credit societies which are autonomous bodies and see excessive ‘political interference’.
Nimgaonkar further alleged that these credit societies are treated as cash cows for political parties who appoint their own men in these bodies to siphon off funds. “The corruption is so huge in co-operative sector that almost 90 per cent of co-op department staff has cases or chargesheet against them over financial irregularities at least once in their careers,” said the Union leader.