Haryana, Punjab farmers to get Rs.31 bn loan waiver

June 27th, 2008 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  


Chandigarh, June 27 (IANS) Farmers from Haryana and Punjab - the two states that contribute most to the nation’s buffer grain stock - will get a loan waiver of nearly Rs.31 billion (Rs.3,095 crore) under the agriculture debt waiver scheme announced by the central government in this year’s budget. The waiver for Haryana farmers - Rs.21.08 billion - will be more than double the loan waiver for Punjab farmers, which is Rs.9.87 billion, figures released by both states Friday indicated.

The loan waiver scheme is to be implemented by June 30 by banks to make the farmers eligible for new loans.

Banks in Haryana will write off loans to 664,675 farmers while in Punjab the beneficiary farmers are 332,872 in number.

Punjab Chief Secretary Ramesh Inder Singh Friday held a meeting with bankers and other officials to review the implementation of loan waiver plan.

He said that loan amounting to Rs.6.34 billion of 179,160 small and marginal farmers would be waived off under the scheme. A total of 153,712 other bigger farmers would get relief amounting to over Rs.3.52 billion.

The central government announced a waiver of over Rs.716 billion (71,600 crore) for farmers earlier this year. Haryana will account for three percent share of the total waiver while Punjab will have a share of just one percent.

“Waiver of debt is a gratitude to our farmers from an indebted nation and more so to the farmers of Haryana who continue to contribute record volumes to the nation’s foodstock,” Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said here.

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