Disclose time bound complete loan waiver: SAD tells Amarinder

Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to disclose the time bound process for complete waiver of all farm loans as claimed by him rather than beating around the bush and explaining that he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice on this issue.

“We along with all Punjabi farmers are eagerly waiting for the complete waiver of all farm loans as promised by you. You had promised to waive the loans, not Government of India. Lakhs of farmers have even filled forms at your instance. Now they are waiting for you to deliver on your promise” SAD leaders and MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhundur said here.

The leaders said it was unfortunate that Capt Amarinder was politicising the issue instead of taking decisive action as promised. “Please don’t try to back track on this issue and try to shift the onus on the centre for waiving off the debt burden of State farmers. If you do so it will be presumed that you have deceived Punjabi farmers by making a promise and not fulfilling it “.

Mr Dhindsa and Mr Bhundur said Amarinder had come out with a hollow statement stating that a time bound process had been initiated to waive off farmers loans. “But you have refused to detail the steps taken in this regard. You have however chosen to stress that you have met the PM twice on this issue and not once and that even now during your latest meeting you have sought a special financial package to provide a one time loan waiver. This brings us back to the original question. If the centre is to waive off the debt burden of Punjab farmers why did you take ownership for the same during electioneering? Haven’t you deceived the State’s farmers by doing so?

Stating what the SAD-BJP government had done for Punjab farmers was a matter of record, the SAD leaders said Amarinder could ask his officers to furnish the information to him. They said besides the free power facility which had been assiduously maintained unlike during Amarinder’s earlier tenure as CM, the SAD-BJP government had given record compensation for crop damage. “We also gave a fillip to diversification by hiking sugarcane procurement rates and facilitating clearance of dues of farmers from sugar mills. Horticulture has received a major boost as has allied farm activity like the dairy sector besides new innovative farming. One only needs to be among farmers to know all this”, they added.

Stating that the SAD would support and applaud all pro farmer measures taken by the Congress government, the MPs said the government must however deliver rather than only use words to create a positive spin around itself. “Please don’t fall into the trap of empty rhetoric. Please measure your words with your performance. At the end of the day it is performance which matters. Punjab and Punjabis are watching you”, they added.