DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
The Punjab government has cleared an amount of Rs 580 crore to give debt waiver to nearly 1.15 lakh debt-ridden farmers in the state.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh cleared the 1.15 lakh more cases for debt waiver amounting to Rs 580 crore, with certificates to be disbursed to farmers across the state before January 31, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
The announcement came after a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, which reviewed the progress of the implementation of the farm debt waiver scheme, formally launched by the state government on January 7 with the disbursement of waiver certificates to nearly 47,000 farmers from five districts.
“With the completion of disbursement of waiver certificates to these 1.15 lakh farmers, the state government would have covered 1.6 lakh small and marginal farmers with a loan amount of Rs 748 crore,” the spokesperson said, adding that modalities of the disbursement were being worked out.
“The meeting was in favour of public presentation of the certificates so that the farmers are not misled on any count by the opposition or certain kisan unions seeking to promote their vested interests through false propaganda,” the spokesperson said.
Despite the debt waiver scheme launched by the Amarinder government recently, debt-ridden farmers in the agrarian state continue to commit suicide and the Chief Minister made it clear that no lapses in this regard would be tolerated. He directed senior officials to personally monitor and supervise the entire process, said the spokesperson. In the first phase, the government is waiving off loans taken from cooperative institutions, for which a total of 5.63 lakh farmers have been identified for relief to the tune of Rs 2,700 crore. “The entire process would be completed in four phases, with commercial private and nationalized banks to be covered after the cooperative loans,” the spokesperson added. The Chief Minister has already made it clear that the interests of the farm labourers would also be taken care of once the state’s fiscal condition stabilizes.