The Punjab government will bear the liability of the outstanding loans of over 7,000 farmers in the agrarian state who have committed suicide in recent years, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Tuesday.
"There are over 7,000 cases of suicides, including over 6,000 suicides during the tenure of the previous government," he said while addressing his first press conference after becoming Chief Minister on March 16 this year.
Amarinder Singh stressed that his government was committed to bail out the beleagured farming community in the state from the burden of loans.
He said that the total outstanding loan of farmers with banks was over Rs 59,620 crore in over 20 lakh loan accounts.
"We have made a provision of Rs 1,500 crore in the budget this year. We have told the farmers that they need not bother about the loans. We will take care of them. It will be between the (state) government and the banks," he said.
Green Revolution state Punjab contributes nearly 50 per cent of food grains (wheat and paddy) to the national kitty despite having only 1.54 per cent of area of the country.