Punjab govt notifies divisional agro debt settlement forums to streamline money lending to farmers

Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh has notified the establishment of Divisional Agriculture Debt Settlement Forums as a step towards streamlining the process of money lending to farmers.

To be headed by Divisional Commissioners, the Forums will carry out the purposes of ‘The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness (Amendment) Act, 2018’ within the territorial jurisdiction of such divisions.

The amended law addresses the infirmities and technical flaws in ‘The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Act, 2016’, enacted by the erstwhile SAD-BJP.

The old legislation was highly detrimental to the interests of the farmers, necessitating the amendments. The new law will go a long way in mitigating the hardships faced by the farmers on account of money lending, according to an official spokesperson.

The spokesperson said that with the issuance of this notification, the Divisional Commissioners had been appointed as Chairmen, while two representatives, one each from the Revenue and the Agriculture Departments, would be nominated as ex-officio Members by way of notification in due course.

The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed in the last Punjab Vidhan Sabha session, thus setting in motion the process of installing the mechanism to streamline the system of money lending to farmers.

It will fix a limit on the advance on per acre of land, with the rate of interest also to be determined by the Government.

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