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Capt Amarinder raises Punjab farmers’ debt burden with PM

Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Friday raised the issue of economic plight of debt-ridden Punjab farmers before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Amarinder, who was part of the Congress delegation led by party’s national vice president Rahul Gandhi, said farmers burdened with loans were committing suicide in Punjab and other parts of the country.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, he said the problems of the farmers were being compounded by the manner in which agricultural issues, including MSP (minimum support price), were being handled by the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

He said the Congress had sought the Prime Minister’s support to alleviate the debt and other woes of the farmers.

Modi, he said, assured to look into the matter. Amarinder said he had spoken about the Punjab farmers’ plight in the meeting while leaders from Uttar Pradesh had highlighted the situation in their state. Responding to media persons questions, he said the demonetisation had aggravated the problems of the farmers.

“In Punjab, where farmers were totally dependant on cooperative banks for their cash requirements, 7,000 of the 12,700 villages had no bank branches or ATMs,” he said, asking the Modi government as to how the farmers could be expected to survive in such a situation.
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