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Debt waiver phase 3: Punjab govt to disburse Rs 200 crore to 50,000 farmers in April

The state government has also assured that all eligible farmers under this scheme get debt relief and no genuine beneficiary is left out.

punjab Updated: Mar 25, 2018 22:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Debt waiver,Amarinder Singh,Punjab farmers
After coming to power in March last year, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the first meeting of the council of ministers had decided to give Rs 9,500 crore debt relief to 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers.(HT File)

The Punjab government will disburse Rs 200 crore to nearly 50,000 farmers of six districts of the state in the third phase of the agricultural debt waiver scheme in April.

The six districts to be covered under this phase are Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr), Amritsar and Tarn Taran. The disbursal process will be launched at a state-level function in Gurdaspur in the first week of April. The date will be announced shortly.

The state government has also assured that all eligible farmers under this scheme get debt relief and no genuine beneficiary is left out.

A cooperative department spokesperson on Sunday said the debt relief scheme is a continuous process and every eligible farmer would be covered under it.

In the first phase, 46,556 marginal farmers of five districts — Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Moga — were given Rs 167.39 crore.

After coming to power in March last year, chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh in the first meeting of the council of ministers had decided to give Rs 9,500 crore debt relief to 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers.

Reiterating the state government’s resolve to fulfill its commitment of debt relief to farmers, he said the scheme has been amended to obtain a self-declaration from the eligible beneficiaries, thus simplifying the disbursal procedure.

The state government has formulated the scheme in a manner that relief up to Rs 2 lakh would be provided to marginal and small farmers who have borrowed crop loan from cooperative institutions, public sector banks and other commercial banks as on March 31, 2017, the spokesperson said.

“Under the scheme, cooperative institutions and banks will upload Aadhaar-based data of their beneficiaries on the government web portal for ascertaining the eligibility of the farmers. The data uploaded thereafter would verified by the revenue department for identification of the farmers as small or marginal,” he added.

As per the provisions of the scheme, the farmers who have obtained crop loan from the cooperative institutions are to be given relief on priority. “Debt relief to marginal farmers is to be given in the first phase while small farmers will be covered in the second, he said.

The deputy commissioners concerned will consolidate the bank claims and the agriculture department will reimburse the amount to the banks.

In the second phase, a total of 29,192 farmers of five districts — Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Fazilka and Ferozepur — were provided Rs 162.16 crore relief this month.

As many as 75,748 farmers of 10 districts have been provided a debt relief of Rs 329.55 crore so far, he said.

“If farmers have any grievances, they can approach either the deputy registrar of district, assistant registrar at tehsil level, cooperative bank branch manager or secretary of the cooperative agricultural society concerned,” he said.

The state government has constituted committees of SDMs, assistant registrars, and agriculture development officers at sub-division level to settle the claims manually of those farmers who have died or do not have Aaadahar cards.

First Published: Mar 25, 2018 22:19 IST