Farm debt: Capt calls on PM Modi, presses for special package | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Farm debt: Capt calls on PM Modi, presses for special package

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a special central government package to provide one-time loan waiver to the debt-ridden farmers of the state.

punjab Updated: Mar 23, 2017 09:27 IST
HT Corresspondent
Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.(HT Photo)

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a special central government package to provide one-time loan waiver to the debt-ridden farmers of the state.

Amarinder, who met Modi at his Parliament House office, said the meeting was a courtesy call, during which the issue of farm debt waiver was also discussed.

“I have sought financial assistance from the Centre, my government is committed to waiving farmers’ loans and we have already initiated a timebound process for the same,” he said.

The state cabinet had, in its maiden meeting, started the necessary steps to implement the Congress poll promise on farm debt waiver, he pointed out.

Expressing concern over the recent spate in farmer suicides in Punjab, the chief minister said he had requested Modi to announce a special package to pull out farmers out of the debt-trap. In a letter to the PM, Amarinder said the total farm debt in Punjab is more than Rs 80,000 crore, including the crop loans of Rs 12,500 in the cooperative sector. The average debt per farm household in Punjab works out to be Rs 8 lakh (including crop loan).

NO DISCUSSION ON SYL

With the SYL Canal matter in the Supreme Court, the Punjab CM did not discuss the issue with the PM, said a senior official. “Since the matter is sub-judice, there was no point taking it up with the PM. The CM met senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani to discuss Punjab’s stand on the issue,” he said.