The Punjab government is working on a solution to farmer debt issue which will be announced in the next budget, state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said on Thursday.
The state is meticulously working on this issue and after three months the farmers of Punjab will get a big bonanza, he said, adding that the state government would take even a bigger stride than Uttar Pradesh in respect of farmer's debt waiver.
Punjab Farmers would get big respite from debt after three months, he said while extending greetings on the eve of Khalsa Saajna Divas and Baisakhi.
The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh this month announced a mega Rs 36,359 crore farm loan waiver scheme under which crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh would be waived, benefiting over 2.15 crore farmers.
The populist step has raised the demands for similar measure in other states. However, some leading bankers and RBI Governor Urjit Patel have cautioned that such populist steps are "moral hazard" and will put pressure on state finances.
The Finance Minister also announced that the Punjab government would soon pass a strong and effective Lokpal Bill with a view to bringing more transparency and accountability in governance.
He said that Chief Minister and Ministers would also fall under the ambit of proposed Lokpal Bill.
Speaking on the fiscal health of Punjab, Mr Badal said that the outgoing "SAD BJP government has left Punjab's coffers empty".
"It has mortgaged Punjab's income to banks against hefty loans for years to come. Despite such financial health, Punjab government is committed to safeguard interests of farmers and other sections of society."
Talking on the SYL issue, he said Punjab's case had not been represented appropriately in the top court.
He said that now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had intervened in the issue and called a meeting in this regard.
He said that the state was hopeful of a political solution to this issue.
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