Chandigarh, Mar 24 (PTI) The Punjab government would provide debt relief to the tune of Rs 200 crore to around 50,000 beneficiaries in six districts in the next phase, a spokesman said today.

The state government has also assured that eligible farmers under this scheme would get debt relief and no eligible farmer to be left out, he said.

The spokesperson of the Punjab cooperative department said the roll out of the Debt Relief Scheme-2017 would be a continuous process.

He said about 50,000 beneficiaries of six districts — Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, Amritsar and Tarn Taran — would get relief of around Rs 200 crore and a function would be held next month in Gurdaspur.

Reiterating the resolve of the state government to fulfil its commitment of debt relief to farmers, he said the scheme has been amended to obtain a self-declaration from eligible beneficiaries, thereby, simplifying the disbursement procedure.

The spokesperson said that under the scheme relief up to Rs 2 lakh would be provided to marginal and small farmers who have crop loans from cooperative institutions, public sector banks and other commercial banks as on March 31, 2017.

“Under the scheme, cooperative institutions and banks would upload Aadhaar based data of their beneficiaries on a web portal of the government for ascertaining the eligibility of the farmers.

“The data uploaded thereafter would verified by the revenue department for identification of farmers as small or marginal,” he added.

The spokesman said that as per the provisions of the scheme, the farmers who have obtained crop loan from cooperative institutions are to be given relief on priority.

“Debt relief to marginal farmers is to be given in first phase and small farmers shall be covered in the second phase,” he said.

Further, as per the scheme, deputy commissioner concerned would consolidate the claims of the banks and the department of agriculture would reimburse the amount of relief to the banks.

He said 46,556 marginal farmers of five districts of Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Moga had already been provided relief of Rs 167.39 crore in January in the first phase.

“On the day of the function, the loan accounts of the beneficiaries maintained in the banks were credited and the farmers who have provided their mobile numbers to the banks were informed about the credit in the accounts on account of debt waiver through SMSs,” he added.

The spokesman said that in the next phase, 29,192 farmers of five districts — Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Fazilka and Ferozepur — were provided relief of Rs 162.16 crore during a function held at Nakodar in this month.

On the day of the function the loan accounts of the beneficiaries with the banks were credited with the amount of relief and the farmers who have provided their mobile numbers to the banks were informed about the credit in their accounts through SMSs.

So far, 75,748 farmers of 10 districts have been provided debt relief of Rs 329.55 crore, he said.

He said the debt relief in these 10 districts was given to those marginal farmers whose data has been uploaded on the web portal and revenue department has authenticated their record.

He clarified that there are some farmers whose data could not be uploaded due to mismatch of Aadhaar or pending scrutiny by the revenue department or due to any local issue and as such their claims of relief could have been delayed.

“If such farmers have any doubt or grievances, they could approach deputy registrar of district or assistant registrar concerned at the tehsil level or branch manager of cooperative bank or concerned secretary of the concerned cooperative agricultural society for their redressal,” he added.

The spokesperson informed that all the deputy commissioners have been directed to monitor the scheme on a day-to-day basis and ensure that no eligible farmer was left out and the relief disbursed at the earliest.

Besides, to facilitate the delivery of the scheme more efficiently, state government has constituted committees of SDMs, assistant registrars, and agriculture development officers at each sub-division level to settle the claims manually of those farmers who have died or do not have Aadhaar with them.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.