Farmers asked to repay loans, which they never availed

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Jan 28: A major scam has surfaced in Pulwama district in South Kashmir where Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) have been issued on fake names and loans have been withdrawn against these cards.
The scandal involving bank officials and some brokers surfaced when people received notices from Ellaquai Dehati Bank in Pulwama asking them to re-pay installments of the KCC loan which they have never availed.
Masarat wife of Irshad Ahmad of Pulwama exposed the scam when she approached the bank asking them that she has never applied for the KCC.
“I am running a Knitting Centre in Pulwama and have never applied for the KCC. When I approached the bank seeking the details, a fake photo identity card and other documents were used for the KCC and the loan. The bank was asking me to pay Rs 1.06 lakhs”, Masarat told Excelsior.
She said that as the bank failed to give her any satisfactory response, she went to Police Station with the complaint. “I went to Police Station Pulwama and they registered a case (FIR No 20/2015) and have started investigations”, she said.
Ellaquai Dehati bank has issued around 200 Kisan Credit cards to various people in Pulwama. Sources said that so far 50 such cards have been found to be issued on the fake names using fake documents while verification process of other cards is on.
Sources said that the modus operandi adopted by the brokers and some bank officials is that pictures and documents of people were used for issuance of fake Kisan Credit Cards.
Hamid Gania son of Kareem Gania of village Puchu in district Pulwama said that few people approached him three years back asking him to give documents and photographs for a soft loan. “I gave them my photographs and documents and also signed some documents. I didn’t get any loan or KCC but a notice from the bank asking me to pay Rs 1.06 lakh”, he added.
The Kisan Credit Card Scheme aims at providing need based and timely credit support to the farmers for their cultivation needs as well as non-farm activities and cost effective manner.
Under the scheme, banks issue Kisan Credit Cards to the farmers who are otherwise eligible for sanction of short term credit for crop production, allied activities and other non-farm activities.
The farmers under the scheme are issued a credit card-cum-passbook incorporating the name, address, particulars of land holding, borrowing limit / sub-limits, validity period to facilitate recording of the transactions on an on-going basis.
However, these 50 people who received notices from the bank have neither been issued passbooks nor KCCs but only got notices asking them to repay them loans which they have never availed.

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