Gurdaspur, Apr 5 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today distributed farm debt relief certificates worth Rs 156.12 crore to 26,998 farmers of six districts as part of the debt waiver scheme.
On this occasion, the CM also announced a slew of projects for the border areas, including a government medical college in Gurdaspur and a new sugar mill in Batala.
He also announced steps to upgrade the cooperative sugar mill at Paniar in Gurdaspur for making it economically viable.
Pointing out that the third instalment of the debt waiver certificates were being distributed on the occasion of the ‘Parkash Utsav’ of ninth Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur, the chief minister said his government has also decided financial assistance worth Rs 50,000 each to the landless labourers to bail them out of the current agrarian crisis.
Responding to the demand raised by Gurdaspur MP and PPCC (Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee) chief Sunil Jakhar, Singh told the gathering that the state government had already made a budgetary provision for setting up a medical college at Gurdaspur to provide the best healthcare and diagnostic services to the people.
He asked Jakhar to identify suitable land in consultation with the local MLA for the proposed medical college.
As a token gesture, the chief minister handed over debt waiver certificates to six farmers one from each of the six districts of Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur.
He also said that so far debt relief to the tune of Rs 457 crore had been disbursed to nearly 1.02 lakh farmers in three different phases, covering the 16 districts.
The CM said that after completing the debt relief scheme of cooperative loans, the state government would soon begin the waiving farm debts from commercial banks, which would be completed by the end of the year.
He pointed out that despite the massive financial crisis facing the state, his government was giving the maximum financial assistance to the farmers in terms of debt waiver relief of up to Rs two lakh.
This was the highest in the country, Singh said, pointing out that in case of Uttar Pradesh it was Rs one lakh, while Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were waiving off only Rs 50,000 each.
The chief minister also shared the concern expressed by Jakhar over the logjam in Parliament, and cited media reports that Rs nine crore loss was being incurred per day and nearly Rs 190 crore has so far gone down the drain on this count.
He lashed out at the opposition, including Shiromani Akali Dal and Aam Aadmi Party, in Punjab for trying to disrupt proceedings in the Vidhan Sabha, but lauded the Congress MLAs for ensuring that the budget session went off smoothly in the interest of the state’s welfare.
Speaking earlier, Jakhar also flayed the NDA Government on the issue of GST on ‘Langar’ (community kitchen) at the Golden Temple, and on the issue of compensation to the Iraq victims.
He accused the Centre of deliberately overlooking the interests and rights of Scheduled Castes, and referred to the 10 per cent reduction in the budget for the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme.
Jakhar said he would once again raise the concerns of the farming community in Parliament tomorrow.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.