Maharashtra Agri Minister’s plea to farmers: ‘Don’t think of committing suicide’

Maharashtra Agri Minister’s plea to farmers: ‘Don’t think of committing suicide’

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With Maharashtra reeling under one of the worst-ever droughts in its history, state Agriculture Minister Anil Bonde urged farmers of the state to not bring thoughts of committing suicide to their minds, adding that the state will deliver on the promised farm waiver.

Bonde’s assurance comes a day after the state government informed the Legislative Assembly that Maharashtra has recorded 12,021 farmer suicides during the last four years, with Marathwada and Vidarbha being the worst-affected regions.

Speaking Bonde said, “It is true that there is an agrarian crisis in the state. Till today, Rs 19,000 crores have been transferred into the accounts of farmers. Those remaining will also get the benefit of loan waiver in the coming weeks.”

“I appeal to farmers to not bring thoughts of committing suicide to their minds. It’s a difficult time as there has been no rain yet. We all need to fight this together. Our farmer loan waiver scheme has been implemented successfully as compared to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh,” he added.

While replying to a starred question tabled in the Legislative Assembly Friday, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Subhash Deshmukh had said, “Of the 12,021 cases, 6,888 cases or only 57 per cent have so far been found eligible for ex-gratia financial assistance. The state government provides an assistance of Rs 1 lakh to families of farmers who are deemed to have committed suicide on account of farm distress.”

He further said that the aid had so far been distributed in 6,845 cases. In 2017, the state government had rolled out a farm debt waiver scheme to curb farm distress. The BJP government has also claimed that it has spent a great deal on irrigation and water conservation during these four years, but this hasn’t stopped the disturbing trend of farmer suicides, admitted sources. Maharashtra witnesses the highest number of farmer suicides in India.

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