Banks in Punjab today asked the state government to implement farm debt waiver scheme quickly, saying their loan recoveries were being affected, an official said. They put forth their concern in a state level bankers committee meeting here today, a bank official said. The meeting discussed various issues including farm debt waiver scheme, he added. With Punjab yet to implement debt waiver scheme, farmers in several areas of the state has stopped repaying loans, which has affected recoveries, the official said. The Punjab government had announced a waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres) and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount.
It would benefit 10.25 lakh farmers of the state’s 18.5 lakh farming families, including 8.75 lakh farmers with land-holdings up to 5 acres. The non performing assets ( NPA) in the agriculture sector have increased to 7.06 percent, the official said. Punjab Principal Secretary (Finance) Aniruddh Tewari said the state government was expecting to receive the report of the T Haque led expert committee next week. “We are trying to raise the money as soon as possible to repay the farmers’ loans at the earliest. The debt relief scheme will be notified very soon,” he said.