The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday criticised the UPA Government after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pointed out irregularities in the waiving off the loans extended to farmers to the tune of Rs. 52,000 crores in 2008.
BJP lawmaker Kirti Azad said: "We are well aware of it. Farmers are still committing suicides because of the same reason. They have not only duped the poor people but also the farmers who with their own sweat and toil give us food. It is unfortunate that this government has been abusing the constitutional body to an extent where one feels very odd that the government itself, I think does not believe in the Constitution of India and it's a very serious matter."
The CAG report that was tabled in parliament earlier in the day, pointed out lapses in 22 percent of cases where loans were written off.
The statistics for farmer suicides in India are as striking as they are shameful. As per a report of 2009, one farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes.
The report stated that the many ineligible people were given benefits while the needy ones were left out.
However, the regional National Congress Party (NCP) a coalition partner in the federal ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) pooh-poohed these claims by the CAG.
Speaking to mediapersons, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) lawmaker and Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said farmers had definitely benefited by the scheme extended to them, and if there were minute irregularities involved, the corrupt would be punished and severe action would be taken against that person.
"The CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) report will first go to Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC); discussions will take place there and only after discussing the matter, any conclusion can be made. As far as corruption is concerned, everybody knew that the policy which the government made was for the benefit of farmers and they are definitely benefited from this, but if there was minute corruption involved somewhere in this, then that should come in limelight and action would be taken against those who will be found guilty," said Anwar.
The scheme was aimed to provide relief to the farmers by waiving off the loans given to the peasants. (ANI)