Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal before presenting the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government’s fifth budget as the state heads for elections early next year. (HT Photo)
Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal before presenting the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government’s fifth budget as the state heads for elections early next year. (HT Photo)

Punjab to waive farm loans worth 1,186 cr of 1.13 lakh farmers

State finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal makes populist announcements as he presents the fifth budget of Capt Amarinder Singh government as Punjab heads into election year
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 01:02 PM IST

The Punjab government will waive farm loans worth 1,186 crore of 1.13 lakh farmers and 526 crore of landless farmers in 2021-22.

Amid the ongoing farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s farm laws, state finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal made the announcement while presenting the Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government’s fifth budget worth 1,68,015 crore as the cash-strapped state goes to the polls early next year.

Badal announced free power for agriculture pumpsets in 2021-22 at a cost of 7,180 crore.

A sum of 200 crore will be allocated for understanding crop diversification measures.

This year, Punjab contributed 27% of paddy and 32% of wheat to the central pool and the state paid 13,774 crore on account of servicing of the cash credit limit (CCL) gap taken over by the previous SAD-BJP government till March 2021, he said.

Badal announced the K3P, Kamyaab Kisan Khushaal Punjab, scheme and said 1,104 crore would be spent in 2021-22 and a total of 3,780 crore would be spent in three years.

A total of 300 crore has been earmarked for sugarcane farmers and an allocation of 60 crore is proposed for modernisation of sugar mills of Gurdaspur and Batala.

A sum of 24 crore would be spent on setting up a postgraduate institute of horticulture research and education in Amritsar.

Pension hiked, Shagun scheme grant up

The state finance minister announced to raise the old age pension from 750 to 1,500 a month.

He also announced an increase in the amount under the Shagun scheme from 21,000 to 51,000.

The monthly pension of freedom fighters will be increased from 7,400 to 9,400.

Free travel for women, students in govt buses

All women passengers and students can travel free of cost in government-run buses and a sum of 170 crore has been allocated for the same.

Seven working women hostels will come up in Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Mohali, Mansa, Barnala and Amritsar.

90 crore for Punjabi University, Patiala

A sum of 90 crore has been allocated for the cash-strapped Punjabi University, Patiala.

The state government will set up an Interfaith Institute in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev by spending 432 crore.

100 crore has been earmarked for the celebration of the 400th birth anniversary of Guru Teg Bahadur.

A museum will also be set up in the name of the father of the Indian Constitution, BR Ambedkar, in Kapurthala by spending 100 crore.

An artificial intelligence enabled video surveillance and monitor system will be set up at all 10 central jails of the state.

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