Chandigarh: Just ahead of the Assembly polls, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi on Thursday announced release of Rs 1,200 crore funds to clear loans, up to Rs 2 lakh, of about 1.09 lakh small and marginal farmers, having land up to five acres, under the existing debt waiver scheme.
He also announced cancelling all first information reports (FIRs) registered by Punjab Police against those who had been protesting against the three Central farm laws.
The state government has already waived off loans of 5.63 lakh such farmers to the tune of Rs 4,610 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 3,630 crore.
In a bid to eulogise the contribution of farmers and in the remembrance of sacrifices made by the hundreds of farmers during the year-long farm agitation, the Chief Minister also announced to construct a state-of-the-art memorial over five acres.
Mooting a proposal in this regard, Channi said 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sacrifices would be instrumental in showcasing the relentless battle of farmers in getting these draconian farm laws repealed from the Centre.
He said this memorial is all the more important as it would reflect the supremacy of democracy and shows peaceful conduct of agitating by farmers.
The Chief Minister sought support and cooperation from the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) to create this memorial as the state-of-art monument to demonstrate the indomitable spirit of farmers and their peaceful agitation.
In a significant decision, Channi also announced to bring small and marginal farmers who have taken loans up to Rs 2 lakh with land holding up to five 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 the SKM, Channi also announced cancelling all the first information reports (FIRs) registered by Punjab Police against the farmers who had been protesting against the black farm laws within the state positively by December 31.
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, Channi also handed over appointment letters on compassionate grounds to 17 next of kin of the farmers who died during the farm agitation.