Committed to farm loan waiver: Amarinder
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday said he is committed to farm loan waiver and his government would soon find ways and means to bail out the debt-ridden farmers–with or without the Centre's aid.
The Chief Minister was interacting with mediapersons at Zirakpur, near here, after inaugurating a 'D-Mart' store.
He said the state government has approached the Centre for farm loan waiver.
"Even if we fail to get any support from the Centre, we will ensure that the farmers are freed of their mounting debts, for which the state machinery has already been set into motion," he said.
He said the Congress government is committed to fulfil every promise made in its election manifesto.
Referring to the promise of eliminating the drug menace from the state, the CM said the STF constituted by the state government is firmly dealing with the scourge.
He said the STF, headed by senior IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu, is working diligently and soon the problem would be wiped out from the state.
He said necessary steps are being taken to eradicate the evil of corruption. He further said the state government would soon bring out a 'White Paper' on the state's economy, "to expose the financial havoc wreaked by the Akalis on Punjab".
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP ruled Punjab for 10 years before being ousted after the Assembly polls last month.
Replying to another query, he said his government has initiated the process to curb illegal mining, which had become "rampant" during the SAD-BJP misrule.
He said a number of mines would be auctioned in coming days, after which the price of sand and gravel in Punjab would normalise.
Earlier, inaugurating the D-Mart store in Zirakpur, the CM welcomed the company's plans to set up 10 stores in the state with an investment of nearly Rs 500 crores initially, and providing direct employment to about 1,000 youth.
The focus of his government, he said, would be on getting Punjab "back on the track" with a highly investor-friendly climate, generating employment for the youth and restoring investors' confidence in the state.
Amarinder said his government would unveil a new industrial policy aimed at wooing investors and concurrently generating employment for the local youth.
Congress promises loan waiver for Guj farmers
TheCongress on Saturday said it will waive farm loans if it came to power in Gujarat.
"We will waive all farm loans and make the farmers debt- free if we come to power in the Assembly elections," Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki said here.
Elections are due in Gujarat this year.
"As per our estimates, (total) debt of farmers in the state is around Rs 24,000 crore now," Solanki told reporters. The promise of loan waiver would also find place in the party's manifesto, he said.
Solanki also promised good minimum support price (MSP) for farm produce, and removal of five per cent Value Added Tax on fertilisers levied by the BJP government. "Our government will be farmer-centric," he said.