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Punjab

Posted at: Jun 20, 2017, 2:12 AM; last updated: Jun 20, 2017, 3:08 PM (IST)

Rs 2 lakh waiver on loans for small, marginal farmers

Relief up for suicide victims’ kin | All truck unions disbanded | Rs 5/unit power for industry

Other key announcements

  • Skills development university at Chamkaur Sahib, Ropar
  • Wellness mohalla/ward clinics, health insurance for all
  • Loan waiver up to Rs 50,000 for SCs/weaker sections
  • New industrial hubs to come up in Sangrur and Khanna
  • New Lokpal law to cover CM, ministers and bureaucrats
  • Free textbooks for nursery & LKG students in govt schools
Rs 2 lakh waiver on loans for small, marginal farmers
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh at the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Monday. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Rajmeet Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 19

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today announced a waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres) and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount, paving the way for a total waiver of agricultural debts.

Making the announcement in the Punjab Assembly, the CM said the move would benefit 10.25 lakh farmers of the state’s 18.5 lakh farming families, including 8.75 lakh farmers with land-holding up to 5 acres. “The initiative would provide double the relief announced by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra,” Capt Amarinder pointed out.

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The decision is based on the interim report of an expert group, headed by eminent economist Dr T Haque, which was tasked with suggesting ways and means to help the state’s distressed farming community. To provide relief to the families of farmers who had committed suicide, the Chief Minister said the government had decided to take over their outstanding crop loan from institutional sources and to raise ex gratia from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

In case of loans raised from non-institutional sources, the government has decided to review the Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Act to provide relief through debt reconciliation and settlement mutually acceptable to the lender and the borrower.

The CM asked the Speaker to set up a five-member committee to visit families of suicide victims, ascertain the reasons for the suicides and suggest steps to prevent these. He told the Assembly that his government had already decided to repeal Section 67-A of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, to end auction (kurki) of farmers’ land.

Meanwhile, the government has disbanded truck unions across the state. In the recent past, several Congress leaders have had bloody feuds with their rivals over wresting control of these unions.

The CM also announced a freeze on power tariff for all types of industry at Rs 5 per unit —  one of the poll promises of the Congress government.    


CM Sets example

The Punjab CM appealed to well-to-do farmers to give up power subsidy voluntarily. To set an example, he announced to give up subsidy on his own farm and appealed to his colleagues to do likewise.

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