Tainted millionaire a beneficiary of farm loan waiver in Punjab

Tainted millionaire a beneficiary of farm loan waiver in Punjab

Tainted millionaire a beneficiary of farm loan waiver in Punjab

Ironically, one of the beneficiaries of Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh's farm loan waiver scheme is a tainted millionaire, MD of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL), Sukhdev Singh, who is an accused in a case being probed by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

Singh has been in jail for some time now. He, along with others, is an accused in the Rs 45,000-crore chit fund scam and is alleged to have duped crores of of investors. It has now come to light that Singh's name is in the list of beneficiaries of farm debt waiver and has been offered a relief of over Rs 1.74 lakh by the government.The amount may not be exponentially high, but the case of Sukhdev Singh underlines the urgent need to plug loopholes and initiate a course correction to the benefit of small and marginal farmers.  

Capt's much flaunted farm debt waiver scheme was intended to provide relief to beleaguered debt ridden farmers with small land holdings who were unable to pay their debt and were being driven to suicide. Singh's name is at number 26 in the list of beneficiaries. He had taken a farm loan from a local cooperative society in district Ropar. Sources said, a probe is underway to look into the matter.

Last week, the ED attached properties of PACL worth Rs 472 crore in Australia. The agency is also probing the case against PACL and its subsidiaries under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

While Capt's loan waiver scheme is benefiting large number of farmers after relief cheques were rolled out early this week, its execution is ridden by controversies of flawed relief and genuine beneficiaries being left out. Some farmers with heavy loan debt are "benefited" with relief amounts as low as Rs 5 and Rs 7.

Reports from various parts of Punjab suggest that names of many small and marginal farmers who are under debt do not figure in the list of beneficiaries. The CMD of Pearls Golden Forest Limited (PGF) along with Sukhdev Singh of PACL and others were arrested after a case was registered by the CBI in February 2014 for acts of criminal conspiracy and cheating.




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