Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala on Tuesday said that suicides by farmers increased after a loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crore was announced by the UPA government in 2008.
Responding to a query by BJP member Radha Mohan Singh during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Rupala also claimed that an audit conducted after the announcement of the loan waiver scheme found that people who were not farmers were also given the waiver.
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi sought more details on farmer suicides and alleged the government was hiding data. However, Rupala maintained that the detailed reply given in writing by the government contained the data.
Replying to a question on whether the Supreme Court had suggested that the government bring out a national policy to control farmers suicides, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the court in its order on July 6, 2017, stated an issue like this could not be dealt with overnight. Therefore, it was justified for the Attorney-General to seek time to work out schemes appropriately.
Tomar said agriculture being a state subject, state governments undertake development of perspective plans and ensure, effective implementation of programmes and schemes. The Government of India supplements efforts of the states through various schemes and programmes, he said.