Despite spending over ₹19,000 crore on farm loan waiver, a total of 12,021 farmers have died in the State due to suicide between 2015 and 2018, the government said in Assembly on Friday.
In a written reply, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Subhash Deshmukh further admitted that the first three months of this year saw 610 deaths of farmers.
Replying to the discussion on the Governor’s address, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had on Thursday told the House that over 50 lakh farmers would benefit from the loan waiver scheme and ₹24,000 crore will be spent for this. Of the total number, 43.32 lakh farmers have actually received benefits worth ₹19,000 crore.
Despite the loan waiver scheme and increasing expenditure on the agriculture sector, the farmer deaths in the state have not stopped. As per Mr. Deshmukh’s reply, out of 12,021 farmer suicides, a total of 6,888 cases qualified for compensation as per the norms. “Out of these, kin of farmers in 6,845 cases have been paid ₹1 lakh aid,” said the reply.
In 2019, out of 610 cases, till now only 192 cases are eligible for compensation, while 96 were declared ineligible. “Rest 323 cases are pending for inquiry,” said the miniser.
Mr. Deshmukh said that norms to decide whether the person committing suicide was a farmer were changed in 2006 to give compensation to the deceased. “The person committed suicide is considered a farmer, even if any person in the family has a name on farmland documents. Also the deceased person is considered eligible for compensation in case the person or any member of the family has availed loan from nationalised or cooperative banks, cooperative credit societies or licensed money lenders,” it added.
In January 2019, Jeetendra Ghatge, a social activist had filed an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) seeking details of farmers who committed suicides from year 2014 to 2018.