The Maharashtra government on Friday said it is considering increasing the compensation for family members of farmers who have committed suicide from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.

The government also said it is committed to providing assistance of Rs 50,000 to farmers who pay their crop loans on time, and the budgetary provision will be made in the budget session next year.

During a discussion on farmers’ suicides in the Assembly, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said the government is serious about addressing the issue of farmer suicides.

“At present, the government provides financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh to the heirs of the deceased farmers. But I am of the view that farmers’ suicide should be included in the category of ‘disaster’ and the compensation should be increased to Rs 4 lakh accordingly,” said Wadettiwar, adding that he would move the proposal before the state cabinet.

In a written response to a starred question on farmer suicides, Wadettiwar said that 1,078 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra between June and October 2021.

He also said the cabinet has asked him and Agriculture Minister Dadaji Bhuse to study the Telangana government’s Rythu Bandhu programme, which provides a grant of Rs 5,000 per acre to a farmer in each season for purchasing seeds, fertilisers and related items.

Responding to questions by legislators, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said the government is committed to providing financial assistance of Rs 50,000 each to farmers who repay their loans on time.

“There is a delay due to the pandemic which has affected the state’s finances severely. We are committed to providing Rs 50,000 assistance to farmers and the government will also pay Rs 2 lakh of the crop loan amount of farmers who have paid the amount above Rs 2 lakh. The budgetary provision will be made in the budget session,” said Pawar.


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