Crop Loan Waiver Scheme in Punjab
Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet today gave its approval to notify the crop loan waiver scheme for small and marginal farmers.
To seek the Election Commission of India’s approval to issue the notification, With the model code of conduct currently in force, the Council of Ministers led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh directed the Chief Secretary.
The government had in June announced waiver of the entire crop loan (up to Rs 2 lakh) of all small and marginal farmers (with landholding up to 5 acres) and a relief of Rs 2 lakh to the remaining marginal farmers irrespective of the loan amount. The scheme will directly benefit nearly 10.25 lakh farmers across the state.
Claiming that the government was keen on releasing the amount, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said arrangements had been made to start the release of funds as soon as the EC gave its nod.
In addition to the outstanding interest from April 1, 2017 till the date of notification, the relief amount will comprise outstanding liability under crop loan (principal and interest) as on March 31, 2017.
The decision to take over the outstanding interest of farmers from April 1, 2017 till the date of notification will lead to an additional benefit of Rs 400 crore to farmers.
The interest component would be in addition to around Rs 9,600 crore outstanding crop loan of small and marginal farmers with scheduled commercial banks, cooperative credit institutions, including urban cooperative banks and regional rural banks — collectively called “lending institutions”, said the Finance Minister.
For loan waiver in its 2017-2018 budget, the government had allocated Rs 1,500 crore.