Other States

1,286 farmers ended lives in Vidarbha last year: Minister

242 farmer suicides recorded in State in December alone

Between January and December 2019, as many as 1,286 farmers committed suicide in Vidarbha, while there were 242 suicides in the State in December alone.

Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar informed the Legislative Council of the figures while responding to a query.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has repeatedly called farmers’ welfare its priority and announced a waiver of loans up to ₹2 lakh soon after coming to power. The government last week released the first two lists of beneficiaries. With the State legislature in session, the Opposition has been trying to corner the government on farmers’ issues, calling its measures inadequate.

Parinay Fuke (BJP) had asked the government for information on crop losses, resultant farmers’ suicides and the action taken.

In a written response to the House, Mr. Wadettiwar said unseasonal rain has caused losses of 70% of the kharif crop and a significant amount of the rabi crop in Vidarbha and Marathwada. In the 11 districts of Vidarbha, between January and December 2019, as many as 1,286 farmers committed suicide. Of these, 576 were due to farm-related distress, he said.

In December alone, 102 farmers committed suicide in the eight districts of Marathwada, and a total 242 in the State. Of the 242 farmers, 59 have been confirmed to be related to to agricultural distress. The government has disbursed aid to the tune of ₹7,30,936 lakh to 93 lakh farmers.

Sharad Ranpise (Congress) had also raised a query related to farmers’ suicides, also demanding to know if there were irregularities worth ₹9 crore in a farmers’ welfare scheme.

Mr. Wadettiwar’s response read, “Between October 2014 and August 2019, 14,591 farmers committed suicide. In November 2019, 308 farmers committed suicide.” However, he said, there were no irregularities.

The first list of farm loan waiver beneficiaries had covered 15,358 farmers, prompting the Opposition to criticise the government for its piecemeal approach.

The government on February 29 announced the second list of 21.82 lakh eligible account holders, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 21.97 lakh.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:41:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/1286-farmers-ended-lives-in-vidarbha-last-year-minister/article30967349.ece

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