As his government marks the completion of two years in power, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Saturday said more farm loans would be waived once the state's fiscal situation improves. He attacked the Akalis for criticising his government's farm debt waiver scheme, accusing them of "failing" to do anything for the farmers themselves.
Addressing a press conference to mark two years of his government, the CM said, "If money is available, more will be given to the farmers, who deserve the same for the contributions they make for the prosperity of the nation." Under the current farm debt waiver scheme, the state government had committed to waive farm loans of 10.25 lakh farmers.
Asserting that his government had laid the strong foundation for the development of Punjab in just two years, Amarinder said the Congress.regime had delivered on each of the nine 'nuktas' (promises) made in the run-up to the assembly elections. Even the promise of smartphones to youths was being fulfilled, with tenders already being floated, he said.
Listing out the achievements of the Congress government, Amarinder said the state was on the right path and was all set to leverage the renewed sense of optimism in key sectors. Elaborating on the steps taken to combat the problem of drugs, Amarinder said his government had constituted a Special Task Force (STF) soon after taking charge in 2016.
"So far, 21,985 cases have been registered under the NDPS Act and 26,088 persons arrested," the chief minister said. More than 552 kg of heroin had been recovered among other contraband substances, he added.
He said more than 5.76 lakh youths had been facilitated to get jobs in the private and government sectors or through self-employment under the 'Ghar Ghar Rozgar and Karobar Yojana', at an average of 808 jobs per day. He said the state government was committed to ensuring no youth was jobless in the state and their target was to raise the average to 1,000 jobs per day.
Later, the chief minister hailed the success of the farm debt relief scheme under which, he claimed, 5.83 lakh small and marginal farmers had been provided debt relief of Rs 4,736 crore so far. As and when the financial position improves further, the state government would extend the benefit of this scheme especially to critical cases, he said.
"We are doing our best to provide assistance but unless the central government implements the Swaminathan Commission Report in full, the woes of the farming community cannot be alleviated," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)