The Punjab government on Tuesday said it is contemplating providing monetary assistance under the farm debt relief to beneficiaries through the direct benefit transfer (DBT).
“Aiming to provide quick and transparent disbursement of debt relief to state farmers, the Punjab government is intending to provide monetary assistance to beneficiaries through direct benefit transfer or RTGS into their bank accounts,” a spokesperson of the state cooperative department said.
The state government will provide debt relief to marginal farmers having agricultural land less than 2.5 acres and 5 acres as promised by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
“In the first phase, total 3,20,395 cases of beneficiaries have been selected under the scheme and Sangrur district tops in the list with 34,409 cases whereas 772 cases were reported from Pathankot district,” he added.
He further informed that Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner Co-operation D P Reddy and Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner Revenue Vini Mahajan and Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner Development Viswajeet Khanna today held a review meeting through video conferencing with all deputy commissioners and other concerned district-level officers in this regard.
He said the deputy commissioners have been asked to get speedy approval of cases from the concerned SDMs as well as other revenue officers as the state government may consider launching this scheme in the first week of January.
The spokesperson said the cooperative department has developed software for transparent disbursal of debt relief and asked all its field officers to upload all relevant information of the beneficiaries while seeding it with Aadhaar number.
He said that next review meeting would be held very soon for submission of approved lists of beneficiaries.
Last month, Punjab CM had said that the first installment of loan waiver would be released on December 14.
However, at that time, the code of conduct came into force because of the civic polls.
The Punjab government had announced farm debt waiver in which loan waiver for 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 would be given, thus benefiting over 10 lakh farmers.
The state government had also earmarked Rs 1,500 crore in the state budget for implementation of the debt waiver.