No waiver for 69% of farmers in Punjab

Chandigarh, December 22: As many as 69 per cent of Punjab farmers who have availed loans from various banks will not get the benefit of the crop loan waiver scheme announced by the Congress government.

Against 12.38 lakh farmers who have availed crop loans, only 3.94 lakh will get the benefit of the much-hyped scheme, as the government prepares to roll it out in the first week of January.

Data prepared by various departments and State-Level Bankers Committee, Punjab, has revealed that of the originally targeted 10.40 lakh beneficiaries, only 3,94,499 will get the waiver or relief of up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh on their crop loans.

All small farmers who have availed a loan of over 2 lakh have been rendered ineligible for the loan — as reported by The Tribune recently.Figures suggest that just 1,60,286 farmers will get a complete debt waiver, while 2.34 lakh farmers will get debt relief, as their loan amount exceeds Rs 2 lakh.

Also, a majority of the beneficiaries are those who took loans from cooperative banks (3,20,395 of 3.94 lakh beneficiaries). Only 74,104 who have availed loans from commercial and private banks will be eligible for the waiver.

Data compiled by the bankers committee suggests that 20,927 marginal farmers will get a complete waiver of Rs 200.416 crore; 30,818 marginal farmers will get a relief of Rs 616.36 crore (though their total loan stands at Rs 1,493.72 crore, each farmer having availed over Rs 2 lakh); and 22,359 small farmers will get a relief of Rs 212.55 crore.

Of those who took loans from cooperative banks, 3,20,395 will get a relief of Rs 6,407 crore.The government will now incur Rs 7,445.32 crore, against the estimated Rs 9,500 crore. While it has arranged for a loan of Rs 4,680 crore, the remaining amount will be funded by the treasury.

Source Tribune India