Alleging that Captain Amarinder Singh government has cheated farmers on debt-waiver promise, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday urged the farming community to pay their loans before April 31 else banks will start charging 12% interest instead of 4%.
“Farmers had stopped paying loan instalments thinking Captain government will keep the ‘Karja kurki khatam, fasal ki puri rakam’ promise, which is not happening. Farmers will become bankrupt. Banks will not grant them loans for the kharif season if dues not cleared,” said BJP state president Vijay Sampla.
Accompanied by former minister Madan Mohan Mittal, state vice-president Harjit Singh Grewal and other leaders, Sampla submitted a memorandum to governor VP Singh Badnore, demanding an immediate agricultural loan waiver and Rs 20,000 per acre compensation for the damaged crop.
Sampla said according to the Punjab State Level Bankers Committee, farmers owe Rs 77,684 crore. “Till December 31, 2016, only Rs 5,150 crore of this amount is a non-performing asset (NPA), which is 6.63%. If all farmers stop paying instalments, the situation can worsen,” Sampla said.
The delegation requested the governor to ask CM Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh to consider it as an emergency and announce agricultural loan waiver immediately.