Punjab CM Amarinder Singh on Monday met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and sought relaxation in norms to raise the state’s borrowing limit to generate Rs 9,500 crore to extend the promised farm debt waiver. Amarinder has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaitley over the same issue in the past.
A statement by the government said, “Amarinder reiterated his request for raising the borrowing limit from 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent so that the state government could expedite the process of waiver of loans and financial aid to small and marginal farmers. The Punjab government is all set to notify the loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers with land up to 5 acres and a lump sum of Rs 2 lakh to other small and marginal farmers, irrespective of their land size.”
The statement said Amarinder also once again raised the issue of incentives to check stubble burning. Expressing serious concern over the environmental degradation as a result of the stubble burning, the CM urged the finance minister to include compensation, at Rs 100 per quintal, for farmers for managing crop residue (paddy straw).
According to sources, the CM also raised the issue of GST, urging the finance minister to simplify the process in view of the hardship being caused to the business and trading community, as also the state government, which had been facing financial difficulties due to delay in release of GST payment from the Centre.