Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced the disbursement of Rs 209 crore to 38,000 marginal farmers, who are members of cooperative societies, within the next ten days to complete the first phase of his government’s debt relief scheme.
The chief minister said that so far 2,77,633 marginal farmers were provided relief to the tune of Rs 1,525.61 crore in the first phase. The amount was transferred directly into their accounts, he said.
Providing relief to debt-ridden farmers was a major pre-poll promise of the ruling Congress party in the state.
Singh said out of the 3.43 lakh marginal farmers, who are members of the cooperative societies, 27,179 were found ineligible as they were either serving as government or semi-government employees or did not meet the eligibility criteria.
Another 19,706 farmers had refused to submit the mandatory self declaration forms, he said. The remaining 38,000 will be provided debt relief within the next 10 days, he said in a statement.
Singh said if any eligible farmer was left, he could contact the sub divisional magistrate of the area to resolve the issue after due consideration by a committee.
The chief minster said that in the second phase, small farmers linked with cooperative societies would be taken up for disbursement of relief. Banks have already started uploading the data of the farmers on a specially designed portal for this purpose, said Singh.
He directed the agriculture and finance departments to follow up with the banks to ensure expeditious uploading of the data so that the process of verification and disbursing the relief amount could be completed at the earliest in a transparent manner.
Subsequently, marginal farmers belonging to cooperative societies who have not yet received the full eligible amount upto Rs 2 lakh, and are otherwise eligible to receive relief amount due to them for the loans secured from commercial banks would also be covered, said the chief minister.
Reiterating the Congress government’s commitment to bail out the beleaguered peasantry which is reeling under debt-burden, Singh said the promise made to the farmers before the assembly elections 2017 would be fulfilled at all costs.