CHANDIGARH: Coming up to meet the expectations of farm suicide-affected families merely half-way, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today announced that the government will take over "crop loans from institutional sources" that these families still owed.
In addition to the loan waiver relief for small and marginal farmers, capped at Rs 2 lakh, Amarinder Singh said on the floor of the Vidhan Sabha: "The government has also decided to take over the outstanding crop loan from institutional sources of all the families of farmers who committed suicide in the state."
Amarinder Singh's words clearly meant that the debt that such families owed to aarhtiyas or commission agents will not be covered under the government's scheme. Also, any debt incurred by a suicide-affected family for medical treatment or socio-religious purposes will not be taken over by the government.
He did propose that the Punjab Assembly Speaker may set up a panel which may visit such families and suggest ways to stem the tide of suicides.
While suicide victim families will now be paid Rs 5 lakh ex gratia grant, it was not clear whether it will take effect retrospectively, and from when.
In case of suicides that happened after Amarinder Singh government took over, and where the relief is yet to be paid, will the government now pay Rs 5 lakh?
If a family has already been paid Rs 3 lakh, will it be paid an additional Rs 2 lakh?
In case of suicide-affected families that have their entire loan, even if just a few thousand rupees, incurred from a commission agent, the government's announcements contained no relief.
CM Amarinder Singh's LOAN WAIVER comes with Rs 2 lakh cap - Crop loans of up to Rs 2 lakh waived off, aarhtiya loan not covered; suicide relief now Rs 5 lakh. Only small, marginal farmers to get relief. Big farmers completely left out? https://goo.gl/PbHP6y
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