Chandigarh, Apr 4 (PTI) The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stopped banks till May 8 from taking coercive actions against small and marginal farmers of Punjab for recovering loans.

A division bench of justices A K Mittal and A S Grewal issued the directions to the banks yesterday on a plea pertaining to hardships faced by farmers due to pending loans and other issues.

The bench also asked the Punjab government to provide details about the disbursement of farm debt reliefs to farmers.

“The court has asked banks not to take coercive action like arrest, sale of mortgaged land, against small and marginal farmers for recovery of loans,” said the farmers’ counsel R S Bains.

“It is a big relief to farmers and these directions are meant for all the banks,” he added.

The court also asked the Punjab government to provide the details of disbursal of Rs 4,250 crore allocated by the state budget for waiving farm debt during the current fiscal.

The high court was told that a sum of Rs 308 crore had already been disbursed as debt relief to the peasants.

The counsel said against a total debt of Rs 90,000 crore, the state government has allocated just Rs 4,000 crore for farmers which is a meagre amount.

The court has fixed May 8 as the next date of hearing.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.