By Devesh Tiwari
Blackhole has always been an appetising topic for scientists worldwide because of its characteristic of swallowing anything into it. The same situation has arrived in the Indian economy after the inception of the mediocratic Scheme called Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
On 5 April 2015, the government uplifted a warrior to solve problems like unemployment, jobless growth, among others. The aim was to boost loans and cut borrowing costs for the cash-starved domestic small businesses. If the input side is considered solely, then till now, the scheme has been outstanding. Union minister Ravishankar Prasad, in his recent speech, said that about four lakh crore rupees had been given to eight crore Indians in ticket sizes of Rs 10,000, Rs 50,000, five lakh rupees and 10 lakh rupees.
On the other hand, if one tries to assess the landing pockets of Mudra loans, there is no formal data except a few informal sources like friends working in a bank and people who got a loan under the scheme.
Loopholes in the scheme
Unfortunately, none of them replied affirmatory in response to the scheme. Considering Mudra is an informal and rural centric scheme, it was obvious that most of the borrowers will be from rural areas. A bank manager in the Gramin PSU bank highlighted enormous corruption by bank employees. He claims that there is minimum 15% cut by branch manager as reimbursement of the loans under Mudra scheme. 15% of a figure of four lakh crores, is a staggering 60 thousand crores which are being swallowed by the bank employees, after giant commissions of demonetisation.
People who got loans were also at the black side of the economy with zero responsibility to handle cash. As per informal sources, most of the money has been spent in the form of disposal money instead of capital money.
Reasons for failure
The primary reason may be the non-guaranteed nature of reimbursement where one does not need a guarantor. Although Mudra’s lending rate of interest is higher than normal loans, people are taking it casually. This is attributed to the current populist trend of loan waiver by state governments and poor track record of Gramin banks in the recovery of loans.
In August 2016, an RTI was filed asking the percentage of NPA falling under Mudra yojana and the Ministry of Finance replied, “We do not maintain NPA related data at our level.” It raises a question: Whether the government is really not aware of the inefficient and corrupt rural banking channel or it is following the ‘Ostrich Dig-Head’ strategy against another massive upcoming disaster of four lakh crores? Recently, after the poor data of employment generation, the government has set up a panel to analyse the fortune of their flagship Mudra scheme. However, the inability to collect data on employment may leave its tongue on the bitter side.
A warrior who was uplifted against all problems has not only fallen but is also heading on a way to swallow another huge amount of tax payer’s money. What can swallow anything without a single ‘belch’ other than a supergiant blackhole?
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