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Mar 07, 2013, 09.45 AM IST | Source: PTI

Farm loan row rocks House, PM promises stringent action

Parliament today resonated with demands for arraignment of swindlers in the farm loan waiver scheme in the wake of CAG report, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to promise "stringent possible action" against defaulters, if any.

Parliament today resonated with demands for arraignment of swindlers in the farm loan waiver scheme in the wake of CAG report, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to promise "stringent possible action" against defaulters, if any.

The Lok Sabha saw a brief impromptu discussion on the issue during which members cutting across party lines accused the government of failing to properly implement the Rs 52,000 crore scheme.

The House saw an hour-long adjournment over the issue after which the government agreed to have a full-fledged debate on it.

In the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made a suo motu intervention after BJP members created uproar, citing the CAG report which was tabled yesterday.

"The reference is to the CAG report on loan waiver scheme. This is a matter which should be entrusted to the Public Accounts Committee as per normal practice. If there are any irregularities, which have been shown, I assure the House that we will take stringent possible action against the defaulters," Singh said.

However, the opposition was unimpressed by Singh's assurance and trooped into the Well of the Rajya Sabha raising slogans against the government.

In the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj led the attack on the government claiming that thousands of actual beneficiaries were denied benefits of the scheme, while those who were ineligible got the relief.

Leaders of several parties including JD-U, Left, SP, BSP, BJD, Shiv Sena, SAD, TDP and JD(S) attacked the government on the implementation of the scheme.

Even members of Congress did not spare the government as Sanjay Nirupam (Cong) said lapses had been found in its implementation.

Responding to a brief debate, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said, "I share the sentiments of the members. It is not only a matter of grave concern but it is a matter of shame."

The CAG report said guidelines for implementation of the scheme were violated with a private schedule commercial bank shown to have received reimbursement for loan of Rs 164 crore extended to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs).

It also noted prima facie evidence of tampering, over writing and alteration of records.

READ MORE ON  pm, parliament, cag, farm, loan, scam, manmohan,

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