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SAD slams Punjab govt for fraud with farmers

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday lambasted at the Congress government for allegedly playing fraud with Punjab farmers while pushing them towards further ruin and suicide by denying loan waiver to them.

In a statement issued on Friday, former state revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia said, the Rs 90,000 loan waiver promise made by the Chief Minister  Amarinder Singh primarily covers farmers who have taken crop loans.

The Akali leader said money from the state exchequer would now be spent on waiving crop loans of up to Rs two lakh and not achieve any objective. He said crop loans have a traditional recovery percentage of 95 per cent and the government has never impounded properties of farmers to realise them since 1986 as disclosed by the CM himself while replying to a question in the last Assembly session.

“This means the government is proposing to conduct a farce in the name of implementing a crop loan scheme from January next month, which if implemented will not cover the real beneficiaries for which it was devised,” he said.

Majithia said small farmers who had availed a loan of over Rs Two Lakh had been made ineligible for the waiver scheme. “It is these farmers who are committing suicide in hundreds after being unable to repay loans taken from national banks and private money lenders,” he said.

Similarly, the former minister said, marginal farmers had also been left out in the cold while finalising the proposed crop loan waiver scheme.  “This proves farmers were used as a vote bank and the Congress party befooled them by making them fill forms for a complete loan waiver which it is now refusing to implement,” he said.

Majithia also said the farmers would not get justice until the government accepted that loans of national banks and private money lenders needed to be waived off completely.

He said, the manner in which the government had back-stabbed farmers by announcing repeated loan waivers and now come up with a farce in the loan waiver indicated it never had any intention of honouring its promise in the first place.

The SAD will also fight this tooth and nail and not let the Congress government to get away with this cruel and inhuman decision at any cost, said Majithia.