Waivers for farmers affecting loan recoveries

Waivers for farmers affecting loan recoveries

Waivers for farmers affecting loan recoveries

After the farm loan waiver announced by the Government in 2008, states are now finding it difficult to recover loans granted to safai karamcharis, scavengers and their dependents under various beneficiary schemes aimed at their social and economic upliftment.

A Social Justice Ministry note admits that "the recent announcement of the Government for loan waiver to farmers is one of the reasons for the low percentage of recovery of loans granted under beneficiary schemes to safai karamcharis and scavengers".
The National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC), run under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment with the primary objective of socio-economic development of safai karamcharis/scavengers and their dependents, has so far been able to recover only 72 per cent of the total outstanding loans worth over Rs 354.38 crore.

"The State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) of NSKFDC are finding it difficult to recover the loan amount from the beneficiaries. Due to the low performance of some SCAs, no funding under the NSKFDC schemes could be done in atleast 12 states," stated a Social Justice Ministry note.

The states where funding under the Scavengers/Safai Karamchari schemes has been stopped due to low recovery rate include Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Among the worst affected states where recovery of loans granted under various beneficiary schemes is abysmally low are Gujarat and Manipur (with zero per cent recovery), Assam (with only one per cent recovery), Uttar Pradesh (32 per cent), Tamil Nadu (34 per cent), Bihar (42 per cent), Tripura (48 per cent), Madhya Pradesh (50 per cent), Maharashtra (52 per cent) and Mizoram (55 per cent).

The Corporation has so far disbursed Rs 653.89 crores, benefiting as many as 2.26 lakh safai karamcharis/scavengers and their dependents under its various beneficiary schemes.

Incidentally, while beneficiary schemes for scavengers have not yielded the desired results in many states, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while addressing the conference of State Ministers of Social Justice last week, had pledged to end manual scavenging in six months.

The Ministry of Social Justice is still holding a fresh survey to count the actual number of manual scavengers in India, after the National Advisory Council chaired by UPA chief Sonia Gandhi expressed disappointment on this front and even called for a strong law to eliminate the "abhorrent" practice.