Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme next phase has been launched by the Punjab state govt. to benefit 1.09 lakh small and marginal farmers having land upto 5 acres. Debt of 5.63 lakh farmers amounting to Rs. 4,610 crore has already been waived off under Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme. Out of these, 1.34 lakh small farmers got relief of Rs. 980 crore while 4.29 lakh marginal farmers were benefitted of loan waiver worth Rs. 3,630 crore. In this article, we will tell you about the complete details of the Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme and important announcements made till date.
Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme Details – All Phases
Read this article till the end to get complete knowledge about the Debt waiver scheme, its features, related announcements, amount proposed and released so far. Let us start the article with date wise updates as it comes across in previous years regarding the Crop Debt Relief Scheme in Punjab state.
Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme Latest Update (23 December 2021)
Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on 23 December 2021 (Thursday) announced release of funds worth Rs. 1,200 crore to clear loans up to Rs 2 lakh under the existing debt waiver scheme. CM also announced cancellation of all FIRs against farmers in the state who protested against the 3 farm laws which are now repealed. The latest tranche of funds is expected to benefit about 1.09 lakh small and marginal farmers having land up to five acres. The state government has already waived loans of 5.63 lakh farmers to the tune of Rs. 4,610 crore. Out of these, 1.34 lakh small farmers got relief of Rs. 980 crore while 4.29 lakh marginal farmers were benefitted of loan waiver worth Rs. 3,630 crore, an official statement said here.
Channi also announced bringing small and marginal farmers, who have taken loans up to Rs 2 lakh with land holding up to 5 acres from the Punjab State Cooperative Agriculture Development Bank (PSCADB), previously known as Punjab State Cooperative Land Mortgage Bank, within the ambit of the debt waiver scheme.
An Overview of Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme
|Name of the Scheme||Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme|
|Announce Date||June 2017 by Captain Amarinder Singh|
|1st Phase Launch Date||7 January 2018 at Mansa district, Punjab|
|Eligible Beneficiaries||Marginal Farmers with less than 2.5 acre and Small Farmers with 2.5 acre to 5 acres land holdings|
|Total No. of Beneficiaries to be Covered in All Phases of Crop Loan Waiver||About 10.25 Lakh|
|Total amount to be given in All Phases of Debt Waiver Scheme||Rs. 9500 crore|
|Total Outstanding Crop Loan of Punjab Farmers||Rs. 59,621 Crore|
|Loan Amount of Each Farmer which is to be Waived Off||Up to Rs. 2 Lakh|
|Loan Waiver Amount Released in 1st Phase||Rs. 2700 crore|
|Number of Beneficiaries in 1st Phase||5.63 lakh|
|Banks Covered in 1st Phase||Cooperative Banks|
|Who are Eligible in 1st Phase||Small & Marginal Farmers who had taken loans from cooperative banks|
|Loan Waiver Amount in 2nd Phase||Rs. 1771 crore|
|Number of Beneficiaries in 2nd Phase||1.09 lakh|
|Banks Covered in 2nd Phase||Commercial Banks|
|Who are Eligible in 2nd Phase||Marginal Farmers who had taken loans from commercial banks|
|Number of Beneficiaries in 3rd Phase||2.15 Lakh|
|Banks Covered in 3rd Phase||Cooperative Banks|
|Who are Eligible in 3rd Phase||Small Farmers who had taken loans from cooperative banks|
|Number of Beneficiaries in 4th Phase||50,752|
|Banks Covered in 4th Phase||Commercial Banks|
|Who are Eligible in 4th Phase||Small Farmers who had taken loans from commercial banks|
|Budget 2021-22 Announcement||Loans to the extent of Rs. 1,186 crore of 1.13 lakh farmers and Rs. 526 crore of landless farm workers would be waived off in the next phase during 2021-22|
|Number of Beneficiaries in 5th Phase||1.09 lakh|
|Who are Eligible in 5th Phase||Small and marginal farmers having land up to five acres|
|5th Phase Cost to Government||Rs. 1200 crore|
|Banks Covered in All Phases||Urban cooperative banks, regional rural banks, public and private sector banks|
Punjab Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme Application Forms
Similar to Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh farm loan waiver schemes, the state government of Punjab is inviting online applications from the eligible farmers under the scheme. The official website is http://fdws.punjab.gov.in/.
The online applications for the scheme are invited through the official website Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme after making login.
Coverage of Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme
The debt waiver scheme would cover crop loan disbursed to farmers in the state by the following lending institutions
1. Scheduled Commercial Banks
2. Cooperative credit institutions (including urban cooperative banks and regional rural banks)
3. Public Sector Banks and Private Banks
If the farmer has taken a crop loan from more than one financial institution or the bank, first priority would be given to cooperative institutions, second to the Public Sector Banks and third to the Commercial Banks.
Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme for Farm Labourers & Landless Farmers (Update As on 4 March 2019)
Punjab govt. has approved Debt Waiver Scheme for farm labourers and landless farmers of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS). The cabinet committee led by CM Amarinder Singh has given in-principle approval to the debt waiver plan comprising of 70% Dalits. This farm loan relief plan is going to benefit around 2.85 lakh people with an outlay of Rs. 520.55 crore. Debt Waiver Scheme in Punjab includes the principal amount of Rs. 388.55 crore, Rs. 78 crore as interest till 31 March 2017. Besides, govt. also approves Rs. 54 crore on account of interest w.e.f 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2019. In the state’s budget presented last month, the finance minister has made an announcement to waive off loans of landless farm labourers while earmarking Rs. 3,000 crore for allocation of farm debt waiver scheme.
Features of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme for 2.85 lakh Farm Labourers / Landless Farmers
Beneficiaries of Debt Waiver Scheme would be individual farm labourers and landless farming members of PACS. All the members of only those PACS will remain eligible for debt relief plan who are already availing advancement from District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs). The amount eligible for debt waiver scheme will include the outstanding principal amount upto a limit of Rs. 25,000 as on 31 March 2017. The simple interest would be charged at the rate of 7% per annum.
The debt relief is not going to be available to those members who are either employees, pensioners of government, semi government, public sector undertaking of any state, central government or income tax (IT) payee. In case of any individual has more than 1 account, then the relief would be given to that account only, which has higher outstanding amount subject to a maximum ceiling of Rs. 25,000 as principal amount. All the accounts of the beneficiaries are going to be Aadhaar seeded in order to avoid duplication.
This new move of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme for Farm Labourers comes as an extension of the Debt Relief Scheme 2017. Under that debt relief scheme, govt. has waived off all bank loans of upto Rs. 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers. Under the Debt Relief Plan, the state govt. has already waived off loans of Rs. 5.47 lakhs small and marginal farmers to the extent of approximately Rs. 4,600 crore.
Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme 3rd Phase – 2.15 Lakh Farmers Debt to be Waived (Update as on 8 Dec 2018)
Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme 3rd phase to start to waive off cooperative bank loans of 2.15 lakh small farmers having landholdings between 2.5 to 5 acres. Moreover after the completion of 3rd phase of debt waiver scheme, govt. will waive off loans of 50,752 small farmers of commercial banks in the 4th phase of Punjab Karja Mafi Scheme.
Punjab Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme Phase 2 (Update on 7 Dec 2018)
On 7 Dec 2018, govt. has waived Rs. 1,771 crore commercial bank loans of 1,09,730 (1.09 lakh) marginal farmers in the 2nd phase. The farmers covered in the 2nd phase of debt waiver scheme belong to the districts of Patiala, Ludhiana, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib. Now, CM announced the extension of the farm loan waiver scheme to farmers having landholding of 2.5 to 5 acres who have taken loans from commercial banks. These farmers would get debt waiver for loans of cooperative and commercial banks.
Captain Amarinder Singh said “In the 1st phase of Karza Mafi scheme, my Government had successfully waived off farm loans owed by farmers to cooperative banks & is now waiving off loans owed to commercial banks. I stand committed towards achieving my Govt’s goal of ‘Karza Kurki Khatam, Fasal Di Puri Rakam’.” The state govt. of Punjab is also committed to waive off loans of landless labourers in the next phases of the implementation of Karza Mafi scheme.
The debt relief amount of 2nd phase of crop loan waiver scheme would be transferred directly into the accounts of the marginal farmers who have taken loans from commercial banks. CM has also announced the extension of Debt Waiver Scheme (Karja Mafi) to farmers having landholdings between 2.5 to 5 acres.
Punjab OBC / SC / ST Debt Waiver Scheme (As on 12 April 2018)
Punjab Govt. is going to launch a debt waiver scheme for economically weaker and underprivileged borrowers of OBC / SC / ST category. Accordingly, the state govt. will waive off the loans upto Rs. 50,000 taken from the Punjab Scheduled Castes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PSCLDFC) and Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation (PBCLDFC). This loan waiver scheme will commence from 14 April (birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar).
At the official launch event at DAVIET, CM would hand over the cheques to the eligible beneficiaries. DC and Police Commissioner have already issued instructions to ensure that mega event is organized successfully. Govt. will calculate the interest on the loans which are taken on or before 31 March 2017.
Features of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme for OBC / SC / ST to waive off Loans upto Rs. 50,000
The important features and highlights of Punjab loan waiver scheme for poor people from OBC / SC / ST category are as follows:-
- PSCLDFC is the nodal agency to provide loans at minimal interest rate to the poor people belonging to SC Category. Similarly, PBCLDFC is the agency to give loans at nominal interest to the backward people.
- All the poor people who have taken loans from these 2 agencies / corporations can now avail the benefits of Debt Waiver Scheme. This debt waiver scheme will waive of loans upto Rs. 50,000 taken from these 2 corporations.
- Punjab govt. will issue no dues certificates to the borrowers after they repay their balance amount with interest minus Rs. 50,000 which the state govt. is going to waive off. Punjab CM will hand over the cheques to the eligible beneficiaries.
- The cut-off date to calculate interest or penal interest on loans taken is 31 March 2017.
Officials will make every possible effort to ensure that people participate in huge numbers at this event to make it a complete success. All the beneficiaries of Doaba region are also going to take part in the launch event of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme. This event will held at DAVIET on the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
50,000 Beneficiaries to Get Relief in Loan Waiver Scheme – Update as on 26 March 2018
Around 50,000 beneficiaries of 6 districts – Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Amritsar and Tarn Taran would get relief of around Rs 200 crore at Gurdaspur in first week of April.
New System of Self Declaration on Land Holding for Loan Waiver Beneficiaries – Update as on 15 January 2018
Punjab govt. has introduced a new system of self declaration on land holdings for beneficiaries such that the benefits of this scheme reaches the poor farmers properly. All the deserving and eligible candidates will get benefits and rich people will get excluded through this process. Moreover, this self declaration process will also excludes govt. employees & retired pensioners who pay income tax. This Self declaration which follows distribution of random cheques will make this process transparent.
1.15 Lakh More Cases Covered under Debt Waiver Scheme – Update as on 10 January 2018
Punjab govt. clears 1.15 lakh more cases under debt waiver scheme which will amount to Rs. 580 Crore. This amount will get distributed to the farmers before 31 January 2018. Thus state govt. has covered 1.62 lakh cases (47000 cases on 7 Jan + 1.15 lakh Cases on 10 Jan).
Launch of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme Phase 1 (Update on 7 Jan 2018)
Punjab government has finally launched Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme (1st phase) for debt-ridden farmers on 7 January 2018 from Mansa district. Subsequently in this farm loan waiver scheme, the state govt. is going to waive off loans of up to Rs. 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers. For this purpose, the state govt. has released funds for Punjab Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme.
At the official launch of this Kisan Karj Mafi Yojana, govt. provides debt relief certificates as a confirmation document to end their debt. Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme will benefit around 5.63 lakh farmers in its initial (1st) phase. To mark the official launch, the state govt. has distributed debt-relief certificates to 10 farmers.
In the first phase of Punjab Crop Loan Waiver Scheme, a total sum of Rs. 2700 crore has been allotted. All those farmers loans taken from the co-operative banks which were outstanding till 31 March 2017 is covered. Loans of around 5.63 lakh small and marginal farmers who have taken loans of around 2700 crore from cooperative institutions are waived off in Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme Phase 1.
This is the first installment under Punjab Crop loan Waiver Scheme. Under this debt relief scheme, state govt. has to distribute Rs 9,500 crore to benefit around 10.25 small and marginal farmers. In this first installment, loan taken from the nationalized banks were not covered. Punjab govt. has earlier started disbursing the loan amount to the needy farmers in the state.
Salient Features of Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme 1st Phase
The important features of this Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme (1st Phase) were as follows:-
- In June 2017, government had made an announcement that small and marginals farmers will get farm loan exemption up to Rs 2 lakh.
- So, the concept of Punjab Debt Waiver scheme was coined where state govt. had to waive off loans of up to Rs. 2 lakh of small and marginal farmers in the state.
- Under this scheme, it was announced that govt. will waive the loans of all the marginal farmers having land holdings of less than 2.5 acres and small farmers having land holdings between 2.5-5 acres.
- Punjab Crop Loan waiver amount is to be released in 4 phases.
- The total debt relief amount is Rs. 9500 crore.
- The total number of beneficiaries are to be 10.25 lakh.
- Govt. started farmer debt relief scheme on 7 Jan 2018 from Mansa district to waive off crop loans of upto Rs. 2 lakh per farmer.
- All the marginal farmers having less than 2.5 acres of land got a debt relief of Rs 2 lakh.
- Small farmers having land holding between 2.5 to 5 acres are also covered and received debt relief of up to Rs 2 lakhs.
- First installment of crop loan waiver scheme is of Rs. 2700 crore as farmers had taken loans of approx. Rs. 2700 crore from the cooperative lending institutions.
- Total beneficiaries in 1st phase of Punjab Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme are 5.63 lakh.
- In the 1st phase of Debt Waiver Scheme, the state govt. is waiving off cooperative bank loans of 3.18 lakh marginal farmers of Mansa, Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar and Moga districts amounting to a total sum of Rs. 1,815 crore.
- The loan amount comprising of principle and interest as on 31st March 2017 was covered.
- First installment is only for the farmers availing loans from the co-operative banks.
- Farmers having debt in the nationalized banks are not covered in first phase.
- Moreover, farmers who have availed loans from the commercial and private banks will get settled in the next phase.
Highlights of Punjab Debt Waiver Scheme (1st Phase) – Quick Facts
The highlights of this Punjab Kisan Karj Mafi Yojana are as follows:-
- The state govt. is going to give debt waiver certificates to the selected beneficiaries in this 1st phase. There are 4 phases to complete the entire process of Karj Mafi.
- The total number of farming households in the state are 17.5 lakhs. Out of these, govt. will cover around 10.25 lakh families in this Punjab Farm Loan Waiver Scheme.
- Punjab state govt. main focus is to complete its pre-election promise of waiving off loans of the farmers. However, there are around 20.22 lakh bank accounts of Punjab farmers who that their entire crop loan of approximately around Rs 59,621 crore as on 31 March 2017 should be waived off (this data is collected from State Level Bankers Committee).
- In case the eligible marginal farmer has debt amount above Rs. 2 lakh, government shall be liable to pay only Rs. 2 lakh as debt relief. Moreover, entire eligible amount of small farmers who have agriculture land from 2.5 acres to less than 5 acres amount would not be waived. Their total outstanding crop loan liability upto Rs. 2 lakh, shall be provided as debt relief.
- The state government had consulted with respective banks to provide one-time settlement regarding crop loan waiver scheme 2017. Entire amount of crop loan had to be defrayed to banks in a phased manner except for the cooperative credit institutions.
Banks prepare list of eligible small and marginal farmers under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned district. The funds were provided to the DC’s from state government. The farmers will get dept relief certificate by the bank after the amount is credited in their bank accounts.