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CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government on Wednesday announced waiver of Rs 590 crore worth of loans under the farm debt waiver scheme for labourers and the landless farming community.

The cheques would be issued at a state-level function on August 20, said an official spokesperson after a meeting held on Tuesday.

The Punjab government will pay off loans to the tune of Rs 520 crore of 2,85,325 members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), thus ensuring a relief of Rs 20,000 per member, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said.

This decision will pave the way for fulfillment of the key promise of the Congress-led regime.

He directed the finance and cooperation departments to kick off the process for effective implementation of the decision on the ground.

The Congress-led government had formulated a Debt Relief Scheme for Farm Labourers and Landless Farming Members of PACS-2019, which would cover only consumption loans to the members of the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies advanced by district central cooperative banks in the state of Punjab through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies.

The CM’s announcements follow the waiver of the loans of farmers under the Chief Minister’s flagship ‘Debt Waiver Scheme.’

So far, loans worth Rs 4,624 crore have been waived of as many as 5.64 lakh farmers under the scheme, which was announced as part of the 2017 poll promises by the Punjab Congress.

In addition, loans of the scheduled caste and backward classes categories have been written off up to the amount of Rs 50,000 each, including waiver up to Rs 58.39 crore of 6,405 beneficiaries by the SC Corporation and Rs 20.71 crore of 1,225 beneficiaries by the BC Corporation.