Punjab CM's meeting with farm unions: No assurance on full debt waiver

Farmers flay urea shortage, claim not getting SAP on cane

Punjab CM's meeting with farm unions: No assurance on full debt waiver

Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee members stage a dharna at the Jalandhar Cantt railway station for the fourth consecutive day. In Ferozepur division, 130 trains got affected. Malkiat Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 23

The “incomplete” debt waiver and “tardy implementation” of the compensation policy to kin of farmers who die by suicide because of high indebtedness remained the sticking point between the government and leaders of 32 farmer unions today.

Union leaders, upset with the government for holding a separate meeting with the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) that delayed their own meeting, termed today’s meeting with the CM as “unsuccessful”. Though CM Charanjit Channi agreed to release Rs 1,200 crore funds to clear loans up to Rs 2 lakh under the existing debt waiver scheme for 1.09 lakh small and marginal farmers, having land up to 5 acres, union leaders were not impressed.

“The total farm loan is Rs 1.40 lakh crore. The Congress had announced a complete debt waiver, from which they have back-tracked now. The issue of giving debt waiver to those who have availed loans (other than crop loans) from Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank too has not been touched upon,” Jagmohan Singh Patiala, general secretary of BKU (Dakaunda) told The Tribune. Harmeet Singh Kadian, president, BKU (Kadian), said they had come to meet the CM with hope of getting demands met, but the only thing they got were assurances.

Buta Singh Burjgill, president, BKU (Dakaunda) raised the issue of job to kin of 700 farmers “martyred” during the stir, to which the government said they had received a list of 407 farmers, of which 152 had received job letters and another 17 were issued today.

Meanwhile, AAP MLA and Kisan Wing state chief Kultar Sandhwan accused the CM of holding meetings as “mere formality”.

Dharnas to continue

  • Nine representatives of BKU (Ugrahan) had a separate meeting with the CM and raised six demands, including compensation for cotton crop loss and toll-free passage for farmers’ vehicles
  • They said though they received an assurance from the CM for resolution of all issues, the dharnas outside the DC offices would continue till the next meeting with the CM on December 30

Tribune Shorts


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