Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday ruled out any concession to the state cooperative department in the matter of the removal of the ‘kurki’ (auction) clause for farmers who default on debt, saying there was no question of backing out on the Congress poll promise in this regard.
The chief minister was reacting to reports in a section of the media that the cooperative department had written to the finance department seeking support on the issue, and was now preparing to take the matter to the next meeting of the state cabinet.
Amarinder made it clear that his government would not backtrack on its poll promise of ‘karza-kurki khatam (eliminate loan and auction), fasal di poori rakam’ (complete payment of crops) and the cooperative department would have to find ways of meeting its lending requirements.
The ‘kurki’ (auction) clause under section 67A of Punjab Cooperative Societies Act 1961 has to go, come what may, he declared, adding that he was committed to implementing every single promise made in the Congress election manifesto for Punjab.
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 lending to farmers by the 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 Amarinder as per an official press note issued by his office.
“We cannot let the farmers, who are responsible for our survival, be exposed to the risk of their own survival,” he added.
The chief minister 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, was on its job and would soon come out with its recommendations in the matter.