Suicides by farmers went up after the United Progressive Alliance government’s Rs. 70,000-crore loan waiver announcement in 2008, and as per an audit, people who were not farmers were also given waivers under the scheme.
This was stated in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala in response to a supplementary asked by former Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh.
Replying to a question on whether the Supreme Court had suggested 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 that an issue like this could not be dealt with overnight, and it was justified for the Attorney General to seek time to work out schemes appropriately. The court also stated that it would be for the Centre to determine whether and what course should be adopted for this purpose.
Mr. Tomar said that agriculture being a State subject, the States undertook the development of perspective plans and ensured effective implementation of programmes and schemes. The Union government supplemented their efforts. It had been reorienting the agriculture sector by focusing on an income-centric approach as against the earlier production centric policy. This focused on achieving high productivity, reducing the cost of cultivation and providing remunerative prices for their produce.