Cong demands non-instutionalised farm loan waiver by state govt

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Chandigarh, Mar 4 (UNI) The Opposition Congress today staged a brief walkout from the Punjab Assembly after the government refused to give an assurance in the House that it would waive of all non-institutionalised loans of farmers having less than five acres of land.

Immediately after Question Hour, Leader of the Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal was on her feeting demanding that the state government waive of the non-instutionalised loans of small and marginal farmers on the lines of the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver scheme announced in the Union Budget. She also demanded that the House adopt a resolution thanking the Prime Minister and the UPA-government for the loan waiver.

Mrs Bhattal went a step further and asked the state government to announce a 25 per cent waiver on institutionalised loans for farmers having above five acres land as the Centre had already announced a 25 per cent relief for this category of farmers.

She also demanded that the government bring a resolution in the House appreciating the steps taken by the UPA-government for the celebrations of the 300th year of 'Guruta Gaddi Divas' at Nanded in Maharashtra in October this year.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal intervened at this juncture saying that the farm loan waiver scheme needed to be discussed and analysed before coming to any conclusion on the " losers or gainers". He even announced that he had constituted a committee under the Chief Secretary to study the loan waiver scheme and then submit a report to the government.

The Chief Minister claimed that only 29 per cent of the farmers of Punjab stood to benefit from this waiver. Only the penalty or the bad debt will be waived off and not the entire loan, he added in the House.

"Or farmers toiled to contribute to the food pool of the country, we depleted our soil and water sources and what do we get, a waiver which will only benefit a few farmers while 80 per cent farmers of other states benefit", he told the House.

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