Highlighting farmers’ suicides due to financial distress in Punjab, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Sunday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive off `51,000 crore bank loans of Punjab farmers. The banks had written off Rs 1.14- lakh crore bad loans of the industrialists in the last three financial years, it said.
In a letter to the PM, AAP’s Sukhpal Khaira said Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan had directed the public sector banks to clean their balance sheets and write off long pending bad debts.
He stated that as per the RTI information, 27 banks had written off Rs 2.11-lakh crore bad loans during the last 10 financial years. “Alarmingly, the said 27 public sector banks have written off Rs 52,542 crore bad loans in 2015 alone,” Khaira claimed.
He said the argument to waive off these colossal bad debts was that the non-performing assets (NPAs) of the banks had increased to `2.67 lakh crore in March 2015.
The RBI governor, he said, was also on record stating that despite waiving off these bad loans, the banks would still have enough capital or in other words the fiscal health of these banks was quite good.
“It is sad to note that while your government has written off such huge bad loans pertaining to the business community, the farmers of Punjab have been left in the lurch and are resorting to suicides in large numbers, due to mounting loans,” Khaira wrote to the PM.
As per the latest NABARD report, the farmers of Punjab were under Rs 51,000 crore debt, accumulating over the past many decades, he added.