Not all farmers seem to be happy with crop loan waiver announced by the Punjab government on Monday.

The Bharti Kissan Union Ekta (Dakaunda), which represents over 1.2 lakh farmers in the Malwa region, said on Tuesday that it expected more from the Amarinder Singh government, and what is on offer is “too little”.

“We expected the government to waive agricultural loans up to ₹5 lakh and extend it to farmers who have up to 10 acres,” the farmer body’s General Secretary Jagmohan Singh told BusinessLine over phone.

The government, however, has waived crop loans up to ₹2 lakh, and for farmers who have holdings less than 5 acres, he said.

In the memorandum submitted to the expert group headed by economist T Haque, the union has demanded the benefits of the waiver be extended to the allied sector, and also wanted loans taken from private sector banks, commission agents and money lenders brought under the purview, Singh said.

The loan waiver is expected to cost the State exchequer ₹24,000 crore.

However, Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, Secretary of Punjab Kisan Sabha, said the organisation was happy with the government decision, and hoped it would be implemented properly. It commended the State government for increasing the ex gratia amount to the families of farmers who have committed suicide from ₹3 lakh to ₹5 lakh. The Congress, meanwhile, urged the Narendra Modi government to follow the Punjab government and announce a loan waiver scheme for the farmers all over the country.

“Do not look at farmers as a vote bank,” State Congress chief Sunil Jakhar told reporters here on Tuesday.

He claimed the loan waiver announced by the Congress government would benefit 8.75 lakh farmers in the State.

Jakhar said there are about 18.5 lakh farmer families in Punjab, of which two-third are small and marginal farmers. “About 70 per cent of them have taken loans,” he said.

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