Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Thursday announced to release the funds amounting to Rs. 1200 crore to clear the loans upto Rs. 2 lakh under existing debt waiver scheme of about 1.09 lakh small and marginal farmers, having land upto 5 acres.
Notably, the state government has already waived off loans of 5.63 lakh such farmers to the tune of Rs.4610 crore. Out of these, 1.34 lakh small farmers got relief of Rs. 980 crore while 4.29 lakh marginal farmers were benefitted of loan waiver of Rs. 3630 crore.
In a bid to eulogize the unprecedented contribution of farmers and in the remembrance of sacrifices made by the hundreds of farmers during the yearlong farm agitation, the Chief Minister also announced to construct a state-of-the-art memorial over 5 acres land. Mooting a proposal in this regard, CM Channi said that this upcoming monument exclusively dedicated to farmers’ agitation and their sacrifices would be instrumental in showcasing the relentless battle of farmers in getting these draconian farm laws repealed from the Centre. CM Channi said this memorial is all the more important as it would reflect the supremacy of democracy and shows peaceful conduct of agitating by farmers. He sought wholehearted support and cooperation from the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) to create this memorial as a state of art monument to demonstrate the indomitable spirit of farmers and their peaceful agitation.
In a significant decision, CM Channi also announced to bring small and marginal farmers who have taken loans upto Rs. 2 lakh with land holding upto 5 acres from the Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank (PSCADB) previously known as Punjab State Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank, within the ambit of debt waiver scheme.
Acceding to another major demand of SKM, CM Channi also announced to cancel all the FIRs registered by the Punjab Police against the farmers who had been protesting against the black farm laws within the state positively by December 31, 2021. He directed the DGP to immediately complete the requisite formalities so as to cancel all the FIRs filed against various farmers including those involved in farm agitation and paddy straw burning cases across the state.
On the occasion, CM Channi also handed over appointment letters on compassionate grounds to 17 next of kin of the farmers who died during the farm agitation. Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Cabinet Ministers Randeep Singh Nabha, Vijay Inder Singla, Aruna Chaudary and Raj Kumar Verka besides Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary to CM Hussan Lal, FCR VK Janjua, FCD DK Tiwari, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha and DGP S. Chattopadhyay.