The government of Punjab on Wednesday said it will find ways to waive farmers’ loans in the state with or without the Centre’s assistance, according to a spokesperson. During a meeting with Punjab’s administrative secretaries, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he will soon raise the debt problem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported.
The Congress leader praised his government’s departments for their efforts to streamline the procurement of wheat and said they were committed to easing the suffering of Punjab’s agricultural labourers.
Singh also pointed out that Modi had announced a special package for farmers in Uttar Pradesh, where Chief Minister Adityanath, on April 4, had waived loans worth Rs 30,729 crore for small and marginal farmers. The decision was made at Adityanath’s first Cabinet meeting as chief minister. Waiving farmers’ loans was the main poll promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 312 seats in the 403-seat UP Assembly.
The same day, the Madras High Court had directed the Tamil Nadu government to set aside all farmers’ loans, keeping in mind the condition of the drought-hit state, and ensure that no farmer was penalised for defaulting on repayments. Farmers from Tamil Nadu have been protesting in Delhi over the past month, demanding funds for drought relief from the Centre.