Cap­tain de­mands farm debt waiver from Union govt ‘to avoid un­rest’

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - HTPUNJAB - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

CHANDI­GARH: Ex­press­ing se­ri­ous con­cern over the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tion of farm­ers, Pun­jab chief min­is­ter Cap­tain Amarinder Singh on Thurs­day once again urged Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi to an­nounce one-time debt re­lief to ame­lio­rate the mis­eries of the farm­ing com­mu­nity.

In a let­ter to the Prime Min­is­ter, the chief min­is­ter has sought im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to avoid any so­cio-eco­nomic un­rest in the ru­ral ar­eas. De­spite re­peated re­quests from the state gov­ern­ment for a na­tional-level debt waiver scheme for farm­ers, the re­sponse so far has not been en­cour­ag­ing, said the chief min­is­ter, seek­ing a one-time re­lief to en­sure that their liveli­hood is not com­pro­mised in any way. “With con­tin­ued debt stress, the num­ber of farm­ers’ sui­cides is in­creas­ing and there is wide­spread re­sent­ment amongst them,” said Amarinder, adding that stress­ing the need for im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion to the is­sue by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

He has re­quested that the is­sue of waiver be con­sid­ered on pri­or­ity, to re­duce mis­eries of farm­ers, thereby mak­ing agri­cul­ture more re­silient and the econ­omy resur­gent. Cit­ing con­tri­bu­tion of Pun­jab’s farm­ers to na­tional food se­cu­rity, the CM said they had raised pro­duc­tiv­ity and pro­duc­tion of wheat and rice in a record time dur­ing the Green Revo­lu­tion, saving the coun­try from hunger and de­pri­va­tion.

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