Tell Punjabis why you are not extending loan waiver to farm labourers and SC community – SAD to Cong govt: Chandigarh, Jan 9 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the Congress government to tell Punjabis why no policy was being framed to waive off complete loans of farm labourers and dalits while asserting the Congress should not discriminate against them.
In a statement here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said the government seemed to be taking farm labourers and dalits casually. “Even after ten months in power it has failed to come out with a policy to waive off their loans. Even chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh has given an empty assurance without any road map for waiving off the loans of farm labourers even as he has refused to waive off loans of the dalit community”.
The Akali leader said the Congress government had already defrauded farmers by reneging on its loan waiver promise. “From a promised loan waiver of Rs 90,000 crore covering loans taken from cooperative and nationalized banks as well as private money lenders, the government has given a loan waiver of Rs 167 crore only and tried to be fool the farming community that it has fulfilled its promise. Farm labourers and dalits were kept out of even this puny waiver. More than 350 farmers have already committed suicide. This situation could worsen with no relief in sight for labourers and the dalit community”, he added.
Asking the Congress government to implement loan waiver for farm labourers, he said there were more than 10 lakh farm labourers in the State with an average loan of around Rs one lakh. “The government must give a timeline for waiving off their loans immediately. Similarly Punjab had the highest concentration of dalit population in the country which was around 30 per cent of its population. A loan waiver should also be implemented for this oppressed section of society”, he added.
Mr Majithia gave a call to Punjabis to gherao all dalit legislators of the Congress party including SC and BC minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. “These legislators need to tell the dalit and backward community as to why they have failed to persuade the government to implement a loan waiver for them. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot also needs to resign immediately. Not only has he failed to dalit community on this issue, he has failed to even ensure they get the social welfare benefits they were getting during SAD-BJP rule. All benefits including aata-daal scheme, old age pension, medical insurance to farmers and scholarship to SC students, have been discontinued”, he added.