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Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi writes to PM Modi on farm debt waiver | Chandigarh News



CHANDIGARH/JALANDHAR: In the run-up to the 2022 assembly polls, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposing complete waiver of farm debt through a Centrestate scheme spread over a certain time period, while the state agriculture minister Randeep Singh Nabha said the state government would provide MSP on 113 crops if the Centre failed to do so.
Channi said the state government is ready to take over its share of debt (of farmers and farm labourers) burden along with the central government. “Despite the stressed revenue of the state government, no sacrifice would be big enough than the weight of this moral obligation that we owe to the farmer fraternity,” said Channi. He urged the PM to make a fresh start and work towards improving the entire ecosystem of agriculture in Punjab in particular, and the nation in general.
“I know some people will question us with economic sheets in their hands but sir do remember that tomorrow when neither me nor you are here then we will be judged-…Let history judge us by our deeds and that, when the moment of reckoning arrived, we did not shudder with fear but boldly turned the tide,” reads the letter. The chief minister also said that the farmers and the central government have moved a step closer to resolving some major pending issues along with the demand to repeal three farm laws. He added that recently farmer leaders had met him at Chandigarh with their demands and the only major issue that remained pending at his level was the issue of farm debt.
Reminding about Punjab farmers’ contribution in the green revolution, the CM said the brimming godowns today testify to the farmers’ relentless toil.
“When they toiled on the soil, their sons defended the sensitive borders with their lives. Today’s India is indebted to these sons of soil. I am of the firm opinion that this great nation, which they have served for decades, now owes a moral obligation to shake its inertia and write off complete agricultural debt, including that of farm labour, till date,” said Channi. He added that no banking or non-banking institution should knock the doors of our farmers or farm labourers for recovery of agricultural loans which forms the root cause of their suicides.
Addressing a press conference in Jalandhar, Nabha said that the Centre should announce guarantees on MSP so that the interests of farming fraternity can be protected.
Even as he expressed the hope that the Centre would accede to farmers’ demand of legal guarantee on MSP, he also said that the agitating farmers would not return until their demands were met.
He also mentioned that the state government was contemplating the use of drones and other cutting-edge technologies to transform the agriculture sector to make it more sustainable and productive.
Nabha said that while 157 jobs had already been given to the kin of farmers who lost lives in the farm agitation, the state government was also considering the request of farm bodies to offer jobs to the family members of 122 others who died during the stir.

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