Punjab government announces total waiver on Crop Loans for small and marginal farmers to win over farmers and motivate agriculture sector in the state.
In a single stroke Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh quelled the farmer’s agitation in the state and paved the way for development in agriculture sector in the state by announcing total waiver of entire crop loans for small and marginal farmers in Punjab, which will benefit 10.25 lakh farmers of the state’s 18.5 lakh farming families.
The loan waiver 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, irrespective of their loan amount. This loan waiver scheme will pave the way to finish agricultural debts of the farmers. This is the first major scheme which is being implemented after winning the elections in Punjab by Captain Amarinder Singh.
The decision is based on the interim report of an expert group, headed by eminent economist Dr T. Haque, which was tasked with suggesting ways and means to help the state’s distressed farming community. Around 8.75 lakh farmers in Punjab have land up to 5 acres, which means that they are unable to get enough yield during the bad season which leads to borrowing money from banks as loans since they do not have enough land they find it hard to repay their loan. With the loan waiver scheme, the small and medium farmers have got a new lease of life and farming sector is expected to look up in Punjab.
The Chief Minister has also decided to take over the outstanding crop loan from institutional sources of all the families of farmers who committed suicide in the state. The Congress government in Punjab has also announced to raise the ex-gratia for families of farmers committing suicide to Rs. 5 lakh from the existing Rs.3 lakh, making it clear that his government stood by its commitment to waive off the crop loans of the farmers and boost agri-based production in the state.
The Congress government in Punjab for debt relief to the farmers has decided to review the ‘Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Act’ to provide the desired relief to the farmers through mutually acceptable debt reconciliation and settlement, which shall be statutorily binding on both the parties, the lender and the borrower.
The government has constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee to review this Act. The Chief Minister has also proposed that the Speaker may constitute a 5-member committee of the Vidhan Sabha to visit families of the suicide victims, ascertain the reasons for suicides and suggest further steps be taken to check the menace and to build confidence in the farming community.
Captain Amarinder Singh told the assembly that his government had already decided to repeal Section 67 A of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, which provides for auction (kukri) of farmers’ land. Also asserting that his government’s is committed to provide free power to farmers, he however, appealed to all big and well-to-do farmers of the state to give up power subsidy voluntarily. The Chief Minister also announced his decision to immediately give up the subsidy at his own farms to set a personal example and appealed to his colleagues to do the same.
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21 Jan 2018
22 Jan 2018