As many as 257 farmers have committed suicide in Maharashtra due to agrarian reasons during January-March of 2015.
“Government of Maharashtra has reported that 257 farmers have committed suicide in the state due to agrarian reasons during the period January to March 2015,” Minister of State for Agriculture Mohanbhai Kundaria said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Maximum number of farmers suicides at 114 cases were reported from the Aurangabad region, followed by Amrawati – 102, Nagpur – 30 and Nashik – 9, the data showed.
The Maharashtra government has reported that it provides compensation of Rs 1 lakh in eligible cases to the family of those who have committed suicide due to crop failure, debt and inability to repay loan, Kundaria added.
Replying to a separate query, Kundaria said Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan governments have reported three, five and one cases of farmer suicide respectively, due to recent untimely rains and hailstorm.
Agriculture is a state subject, Kundaria said, adding that state governments take necessary measures for development of farm sector and welfare of farmers.
The Centre supplements efforts of the state governments through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support.
“The Government of India has taken several steps to revitalise the agriculture sector and improve the condition of farming community on sustainable basis by increasing investment, improving farm practices, rural infrastructure and delivery of credit, technology and other inputs, extension and marketing among others,” he said.
Other measures taken by the Centre for the benefit of farmers include hike in support price, increase in credit flow to farm sector, debt waiver and interest subvention on crop loan, he added.
In reply to a separate question, Kundaria said: “Amount of compensation to families of farmers who commit suicide is decided by the respective state governments.”
Similarly, the hurdles if any, in distribution of compensation to such families are also resolved by the respective state government, he added.