Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday announced a total waiver of entire crop loans of 8.75 lakh small and marginal farmers, reported news agency ANI. The decision comes in the wake of similar announcement made by the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra state governments in order to ease the burden of the distressed and debt-ridden farmers.
The state government announced total waiver of crop loans to the tune of Rs 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers as well as a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. Speaking at the Assembly, the chief minister pointed out that the move would benefit 10.25 lakh farmers, including 8.75 lakh farmers up to 5 acres. He also said that the initiative would provide double the relief announced by the states of UP and Maharashtra. “It has also been decided to raise the ex-gratia for suicide affected families to Rs 5 lakh from the existing Rs 3 lakh,” he added.
He said the decision was based on the interim report of the Expert Group headed by eminent economist T Haque, which was entrusted with the task of suggesting ways and means to help the state’s distressed farming community.
Last week, Singh, while addressing the state assembly, had reiterated his government’s commitment to fulfill all election manifesto promises, including loan waiver and ‘kurki’ (auction of mortaged land) abolition for the distressed farmers of the state.
Reiterating the state government’s commitment to provide free power to farmers, Singh appealed to all big and well-to-do farmers of the state to give up power subsidy voluntarily.
With inputs from agencies