Chandigarh, Mar 27 (PTI) In view of crop losses due to recent rain and hailstorms, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announced on Monday a moratorium on the repayment of loans taken by farmers from Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies.
He expressed hope that the move will provide the much-needed relief to farmers in this hour of crisis.
In an official statement, Mann said the farmers can pay back this amount later after they recover from losses.
He said that as a result of this move, a large number of farmers will be saved from becoming defaulters and will remain eligible to take loans for the next crop season.
The chief minister said the state cooperative societies lend money to farmers as short-term crop loans.
Earlier in the day, Mann said he had issued directions for a special 'girdawari' (field inspection) to assess crop damage because of recent rain and ordered it to be completed within a week.
Mann on Sunday had toured rain-affected fields in Moga, Muktsar, Bathinda and Patiala districts.
Untimely rain accompanied by hail and high-velocity winds caused damage to wheat and other crops in several parts of the state.