Rs 5 Lakh Ex Gratia for All Farmer Suicides since June 2, 2014

The state government has decided to pay the enhanced ex gratia of ` 5 lakh to the families of all farmers who had committed suicide since June 2, 2014 when the new state came into being, agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy told the state legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Initiating a short-duration discussion on “Failure of monsoon and measures taken for welfare of farmers”, Reddy said, “Monsoon set in on June 13 this year. Initially, there was a good spell of rain which facilitated early sowing of rainfed crops in all the districts. It was followed by a continuous dry spell for more than 25 days with a huge deficit of minus 66 pc which affected rain-fed crops badly, particularly those raised in red soil. However, the monsoon revived later and a good amount of rain was received in August and September which has brought down the overall deficiency to minus 14 pc.”

The minister said crops were sown in 35.13 lakh hectares, about 85 pc of the normally-sown area of 41.43 lakh hectares. Of the total area sown, 26.03 lakh hectares is in rainfed conditions and 9.1 lakh hectares have irrigation facility.

Further analysis of district-wise rainfall data indicated that Adilabad, Khammam and Warangal (except Jangaon revenue division) had normal rainfall and crops’ condition is satisfactory.

On the other hand, Karimnagar and Nalgonda districts, due to continuous dry spells, affected rainfed crops to the extent of 50 pc. Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Medak districts had a deficit rainfall in a majority of mandals and crops to an extent of 75 pc were damaged. Only the crops in black cotton soil survived. The rainfall in Mahbubnagar district was very low and the crops were severely affected and the damage was cent per cent.

The government has taken all the steps to provide loan waiver (` 8,336 crore), stock seeds and fertilisers well in advance and supply quality power without interruption. Yet, due to the drought for two consecutive years, it was unfortunate to hear farmers committing suicide due to distress, the minister said.

The distress is due to non-completion of irrigation projects, abnormal depletion of ground water leading to drilling of more number of bore wells, decades of negligence of development of minor irrigation tanks and erratic power supply in the past.

Because of these reasons, the government proposed to grant enhanced ex gratia in cases of all suicidal deaths, found genuine by the committee, since June 2, 2014. The government will try to consider sympathetically the demand for waiver of the remaining 50 pc loan at once.

Source: The New Indian Express

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