Will share our debt burden for complete waiver of farmers : CM Channi

Will share our debt burden for complete waiver of farmers : CM Channi

Chandigarh, November 30: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday exhorted the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept his proposal for complete waiver of farmers and farm labourers' debt adding he said Punjab government is ready to take over its share of debt burden along with Government of India.

In a highly emotive letter to the Prime Minister, CM Channi emphasized the need to frame a Centre State shared scheme of an appropriate ratio spread over some time with proper modalities to handle this issue and end the debt of farmers and farm labourers once and for all. CM Channi said, “Despite the stressed revenues of the state government, no sacrifice would be big enough than the weight of this moral obligation that we owe to farmer fraternity.”

Urging the Prime Minister, CM Channi mentioned today is the day and today is the opportunity and today let's make a fresh start and work towards improving the entire ecosystem of agriculture in Punjab in particular and the nation in general. “We as stakeholders are ready to commit ourselves to any new arrangement that is decided mutually between all the stakeholders”, asserted the Chief Minister.

“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. There will be a reckoning. It will either come from ourselves and our own conscience or it will come from our generations when they will ask that inconvenient question of what were we doing or what we did for those who fed us and for those who carried out the biggest democratic struggle of independent India. 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”, the letter reads.

Reminding Modi about announcement of annulment of the three farm laws by him, CM Channi said the farmers and government has moved a step closer to resolving some major pending issues which have taken centre stage along with the demand to repeal three farm laws. The foremost of course being the issue of agricultural debt.

CM Channi further said that very recently the leadership of farmers had met him at Chandigarh with their demands and only one major issue that remained pending at his level sans a resolution was the issue of farm debt. A glittering ray of hope has however shone after GoI's changed stance.

Pointing out further, CM Channi said the farmers of Punjab are the one who picked up the gauntlet of food security of the nation and became the bulwark of green revolution. The godowns filled to their edges today testify their relentless toil. The long journey from scarcity driven days of PL 480 (ship to mouth) to the ration having given the Right of Food to its citizens is a proof of the hard work of the farmers and farm labour of this great nation. However, while ensuring food security, CM Channi said their self-pride driven farmers have crippled themselves under the weight of mountain of debt.

Striking an emotional chord CM Channi said, “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. No banking or non-banking institution should knock the doors of our farmers or farm labour for recovery of agricultural loans which forms the root cause of suicides by the farmers and farm labour and stress in rural economy.”