Staff Reporter

Panel to submit report to the Planning Commission within 15 days

Team to meet Chief Minister on SundayCentral help sought for farmersPanel to be in touch with the State on the issue

KOZHIKODE: The Central Planning Commission team that visited Wayanad to review the situation arising out of the alarming rate of suicide among farmers in the district has said that an analysis was on and the issues were being examined.

Addressing a meeting of Ministers, MLAs and State and district officials at the Collectorate Conference hall here on Friday, Planning Board member R. Bandopadhyaya (State plans) said the panel was concerned at the depth of the problem.

"As far as possible, feasible, implementable solutions will be suggested. Most of the demands placed before us will be reflected in our report. The issue arising was not just of one particular area of Kerala or one sector, but the entire economy. The benefits ought to reach all sections of people. Our recommendations will be submitted to the Planning Commission in 15 days," he added.

The panel had recorded representations of as many as 151 representatives of various groups. It had met more than 600 persons representing various organisations besides members of the families of farmers who had committed suicide. Mr. Bandopadhyaya said that based on the team's findings, discussions would be held with senior officers of the State Government.

"We will hold discussions with Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan on Sunday. The panel will also be in touch with the Government of Kerala on the issue," Mr. Bandopadhyaya said. The other two members, B. C. Munda (Advisor), and Saddamathe (Director, State plans) were present on the occasion.

Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran expressed the view that waiver of farm loans and strengthening of the cooperative sector would go a long way in reviving the farm sector in Wayanad. In his appeal to the panel, Agriculture Minister Mullakkara Retnakaran pointed to the acute agricultural crisis in Wayanad and wanted the Centre to grant all forms of assistance to alleviate the misery of farmers.

MLAs M.V. Shreyams Kumar and P. Krishna Prasad from Wayanad District and U. C. Raman and A. K. Sasheendran from Kozhikode also put forward their suggestions. Mr. Shreyams Kumar submitted a 29-point memorandum to the panel on behalf of the people of his constituency.

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