CAG points out lapses in crop loan waiver scheme

By TheHindu on 29 Mar 2017 | read

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has pointed out lapses in the implementation of the crop loan waiver scheme announced by the State government during the year 2015-2016.

The CAG, in its report on economic sector tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, said verification of beneficiaries under ‘farmer family’ norm was conducted without Aadhaar numbers, despite it being mandatory in the scheme guidelines. No social audit was conducted to eliminate duplicate/multiple financing of beneficiaries, while the government had not verified the crop loans taken by farmers from other district bank branches on agriculture lands in multiple districts/mandals.

Excess interest

Crop loans to Rythu Mitra Groups/Rythu Mitra Sangams were waived against the scheme guidelines to treat farmer families as units. Banks claimed excess interest of ₹183.98 crore on total outstanding crop loan of beneficiaries. Some of the banks did not claim interest, though stipulated in the scheme guidelines, resulting in eligible farmers being deprived of waiver of interest to an extent of ₹66.16 crore.

There was also delay in remittance of unspent amount into the government account both by the Joint Directors of agriculture and the banks, mainly due to delayed reconciliation of accounts by banks. There were unspent balances with the nodal banks and also with bank branches even after furnishing utilisation certificates to the government.

Textile parks

The CAG also pointed out shortcomings relating to the development of textile and apparel parks, claiming that audit of four out of the eight parks proposed in the State showed significant time overruns in their completion ranging from seven months to 151 months. The expenditure incurred by the State government (₹6.04 crore) and the Central government (₹14.34 crore) could not yield expected results in respect of textile park at Sircilla and the Whitegold Integrated Spintex Park Private Limited (WISPL).

There were no export sales from textile park in Sircilla and the WISPL against the targeted ₹10 crore and ₹650 crore a year respectively. While the textile park of Pochampally reported export sales of ₹1.53 crore against targeted ₹17.5 crore a year, there was shortfall in establishment of units in the parks ranging from zero to 100% and 81% to 100% in respect to employment generation.

The CAG observed that in the apparel export park of Gundlapochampally, 53% of the total units belonged to non-textile/apparel manufacturers, and the park had not achieved its intended purpose of being an apparel hub.