MAKING IT clear that he would stick to his pre-poll promise of doing away with the kurki clause for farmers, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ruled out any concession to the state cooperative department, directing it to find ways of “meeting its lending requirements”. Reacting to news reports that the cooperative department had written to the finance department seeking support on the issue, Amarinder, in a statement on Friday, said his government would not backtrack on its poll promise of “karza-kurki khatam, fasal di poori rakam”.
The Chief Minister asserted that his government would not allow anything to come in the way of the implementation of its promise to waive farm loans and bring the kurki system to an end. “The ‘kurki’ (auction) clause under Section 67A of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, has to go, come what may,” he said in a statement, adding that he was committed to implementing every single promise made in the Congress election manifesto for Punjab.
The statement said the CM agreed with the finance department that the cooperative department needed to work out ways and means of attaining self-sufficiency in the matter of giving loan to farmers by cooperative societies and banks. “It was the duty of every single department to extend support to the government in rescuing the beleaguered farmers of the state from the burden of loans and the fear of ‘kurki’, which was forcing many of them to take the extreme step of ending their lives,” said a statement quoting Amarinder. “We cannot let the farmers, who are responsible for our survival, to be exposed to the risk of their own survival,” he added.
On the cooperative department’s appeal to the government to expedite the loan waiver, Amarinder said the commission set up by his government to ascertain the quantum of farm loans in the state and to work out the modalities for their waiver would soon come out with its recommendations in the