Amarinder Singh announces Farm Loan Waiver

In a bid to go one-up on the moves by BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the Congress government in Punjab has also announced a farm loan waiver, offering double the relief for a farmer than the two BJP-ruled states.

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced crop loan waiver of up to Rs.2 lakh for small and marginal farmers having less than 5 acre of land holding and a flat Rs.2 lakh waiver for marginal farmers having a bigger land holding. The move would benefit 10.25 lakh farmers in Punjab. UP in April announced a waiver up to loan amount of  Rs.1 lakh for nearly 87 lakh small and marginal farmers in the state. Maharashtra also announced a loan waiver up to Rs.1 lakh for farmers.

UP will bear a burden of nearly Rs.36,500 cr due to the loan waiver while Maharashtra is expected to bear a loan waiver amounting to nearly Rs.25,000 cr. Punjab has not specified the total burden on its exchequer but claimed its offer is far more attractive for the state's farmers than their counterparts in the two BJP-ruled states. Captain Amarinder Singh said the state would also take over outstanding crop loans from institutional sources of all families of farmers who have committed suicides in Punjab. The state has also decided to repeal a provision in law which provided for auction or seizure of farmers land due to unpaid loans.

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