Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil has said 639 farmers have committed suicide in three months (March to May) this year due to pressing debt, crop failure and the inability to repay bank loans. Patil was replying to a question asked by the Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde and other NCP members, PTI reported.
“639 farmers have committed suicide between March 1 and May 31, 2018. Of these 639 farmers, 188 were declared eligible for compensation as per government schemes, based on the government’s criteria of crop failure, debts and their failure to repay loans,” Patil said. “Of the 188, families of 174 farmers have received compensation,” he added. Patil further said 122 cases were declared ineligible for compensation, while 329 cases were pending for further investigation.
The opposition had asked the government about the number of farmers that took their lives in the last three months and the status of compensation provided to the family of the deceased. They also asked about the steps that were taken by the government to help the families of the farmers who took their lives.
While talking to PTI, Munde alleged that all schemes of the government, including the loan waiver, compensation to farmers for crop loss, crop loans, and minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural goods, had failed, which led to the rise in the number of farmer suicides in the state. He claimed that in the last four years as many as 13,000 farmers had killed themselves due to the rampant agrarian crisis, of which 1,500 committed suicide in the last one year alone.
In his reply to another question, the Revenue Minister informed the Legislative Council that in accordance with the parameters established for drought declaration by the state government, eight talukas of Yavatmal, Washim and Jalgaon districts were declared affected by medium intensity drought in April this year. “Accordingly, compensation and other assistance were provided to the affected farmers,” the minister informed.
On May 29 this year, the central government made amendments in the rules for declaration of drought-hit areas based on the suggestions submitted by the states. Accordingly, the state revenue and forest departments made the changes on June 28, he said.
(With Inputs from PTI)