Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced waiver of Rs. 590 crore worth of loans under the farm debt waiver scheme for labourers and the landless farming community, paving the way for the fulfilment of another key promise of his government.

The cheques would be issued at a state-level function on August 20, said an official spokesperson after a high-level meeting held on Tuesday.

The Punjab Government will pay off loans to the tune of Rs. 520 crore of 2,85,325 members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), thus ensuring a relief of Rs. 20,000 per member, said the Chief Minister. He directed the Finance and Cooperation departments to kick off the process for effective implementation of the decision on the ground.

The Punjab Government has formulated a Debt Relief Scheme for Farm Labourers and Landless Farming Members of PACS-2019, which will cover only Consumption Loan to the members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies advanced by District Central Cooperative Banks in the state of Punjab through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies.

The Chief Minister’s announcements follow the waiver of the loans of farmers under the Chief Minister’s flagship ‘Debt Waiver Scheme.’ So far, loans worth Rs. 4624 crore have been waived of as many as 5.64 lakh farmers under the scheme, which was announced as part of the 2017 poll promises by the Punjab Congress.

In addition, loans of the SC and BC categories have been written off up to the amount of Rs. 50,000 each, including waiver upto Rs. 58.39 crore of 6405 beneficiaries by the SC Corporation and Rs. 20.71 crore of 1225 beneficiaries by the BC Corporation.

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Among others present at the meeting were Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Anirudh Tewari and Financial Cooperation K. Siva Prasad.

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