Patiala, June 11, 2018: The debt waiver given to farmers under outstanding loan of up to Rs 2 lakh sent a new ray of hope to the lives of small farmers like Jaspal Singh from village Gagrola near Sanaur in Patiala district who were devastated first by demonetization and then by the spiraling fuel prices.
Benefited by the debt waiver scheme, farmer Jaspal Singh and his three friends with similar experience had come to the Union Cooperative Bank Patiala on Mall Road to thank the bank staff. Father of two daughters, Jaspal says that he owned 6 acres of land but owing to financial strains and family problems the landholdings shrunk to 2 acres. However, the debt burden had increased by Rs 2 Lacs. With meager Rs 80000 earned from contractual farming of 2 acres, it was impossible to pay back the loan.
With tears of happiness in his eyes, Jaspal Singh hailed the Captain Amarinder Singh and his government for breaking away his vicious cycle of debt and giving him and others like him a new lease of life.
Similarly, farmer Darshan Singh from village Hiana near Nabha has the similar tale to narrate whose Rs 1.50 lacs debt has been waived off. Thanking Captain Amarinder Singh he says that he would not even have been able to pay back the interest on the loan borrowed.
Village Katkheri’s farmer Harjit Singh, whose Rs 53000 debt has been waived off, says that now he can raise his family without any fear of not being able to pay back the loan. Also village Asarpur (Sanaur) elderly resident Kahan Singh’s son Gurmeet Singh says that the Rs 1.50 lacs waived off from the family has come as a blessing. Had government not interfered, the family would have been at the receiving end of ill fate.
Farmers say that they have got debt waiver without having run from pillar to post. "The government took up lists of the farmers who had borrowed loan from cooperative banks. One did not need any recommendations or sifarish," says farmer Jaspal Singh.
So far the Punjab government has waived off the loan of 23651 farmers worth Rs 147.17 cr of district Patiala. Also, many farmers actually came to know that their debt has been waived off when they were sitting at home. The waiver amount was directly deducted from the bank accounts against which loan was borrowed.