Gurdaspur, Oct 12: Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today kicked off the party's door-to-door farmer outreach programme here. He launched the programme, 'Karza Kurki Khatam - Fasal Di Poori Rakam', by visiting the house of Budh Singh, a small farmer who owns two acres of land at Kotli Surat Malhi in Gurdaspur.
Amarinder personally visited the farmer, who is reeling under a debt burden of Rs 4.5 lakh, to get the 'maangpatra' (proforma) seeking a debt waiver signed.
He handed over the receipt for the 'maangpatra' to Budh Singh as his "personal promise" to waive his debt if the Congress formed the government in Punjab next year.
The campaign to reach out to the debt-ridden farmers in the state will go on till October 25. Amarinder said there were tens of thousands of farmers reeling under a debt burden in the state and many of whom had committed suicide.
The former chief minister appealed to them to have faith in him, promising that after the Congress formed the government in Punjab, all farmers' loans will be waived. Amarinder also assured the 'aarthiyas' (commission agents) that the money owed to them by the farmers would be paid by the government.
Similarly, the loans of the banks would also be repaid by the government after his party came to power, he said. Asked how would his party pay off such a huge debt, Amarinder said the Centre had saved Rs 3 lakh crore on the Oil Import Bill and the Congress has been asking it to use some of this money to waive farmers' loans.
He claimed that the Centre had written off Rs 115 lakh crores of corporate debt, compared to which farmers' loans amounted to much less nationally.