1,020 farmers committed suicide since Maharashtra loan waiver announcement

Farm rage: Nagpur farmers destroy produce during their agitation in June  

In the five months since the State government announced the ₹34,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme — it is yet to be implemented — 1,020 farmers have committed suicide, official records show. The scheme, which faced its first hurdle in lack of funds, is now mired in scam allegations.

Figures provided by the government showed that 2,414 farmers committed suicides from January 1 to October 31. Of these, 1,020 ended their lives between July to October. Division-wise data shows that Amravati in Vidarbha has registered the most suicides at 395 during this four-month period. Aurangabad in Marathwada is close behind at 330 suicides, while 179 farmers in Nashik division, north Maharashtra, took their own lives.

Data for the past 10 months too shows Amravati division reported the most farmer suicides at 907, while Aurangabad reported 789 suicides. The Konkan division saw the least number of farmer suicides (4), while 80 farmers ended their lives during this period in Pune division. Nagpur registered 226 farmer suicides, while Nashik registered 408.

Dhananjay Munde, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said, “The government is running on bogus development figures. There is no development. This government is advertising fake achievements; it should take responsibility for farmer suicides as well.” Ajit Nawale, convener, steering committee of farmer organisations, added, “We’ve been pointing out that the government measures are only on paper and have not been seen on ground. Farmers are not benefiting, but the government runs on tall claims.”

State Agriculture Minister Sadabhau Khot said, “We understand the plight of farmers, which is why we have initiated major steps for their benefit. I’m sure these will reach farmers and we will be able to curb suicides.”

Following several days of agitation in June by farmers, who stopped sending fresh produce to city markets, the BJP-led State government announced the loan waiver scheme, but hasn’t been able to put together an accurate list of eligible beneficiaries with banks till date.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 5:24:10 PM |

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