GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of: Agriculture
DEPARTMENT OF: AGRICULTURE AND COOPERATION
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2089
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.08.2015
Suicide by farmers in Karnataka
2089. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of AGRICULTURE be pleased to state:-
(a) the total number of farmers who committed suicide in Karnataka during the last three months, month-wise;
(b) whether Government has assessed/has been apprised by the State Government, the reasons for this alarming rise in farmers'' suicide cases;
(c) if so, the details thereof and the measures taken by Government in this regard; and
(d) whether Government is considering to announce any immediate relief measures like special packages/debt waivers etc. for debt ridden farmers of Karnataka in this alarming situation, if so, the details thereof?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE
(SHRI MOHANBHAI KUNDARIA)
(a): Govt. of Karnataka has reported that 184 farmers committed suicide in the State during the last three months (as on 28.7.2015) as per following details:-
Month / Year
No. of Suicides
(b): The Govt. of Karnataka has reported debt as the main reason for farmers'' suicides and has taken suitable steps including enforcement of relevant Acts, additional support to MSP, concessional loans to farmers, loan waiver, subsidies etc. Agriculture including agricultural indebtedness being a State subject, State Government takes appropriate measures for development of agriculture sector in the State.
(c): The Government of Karnataka has reported that it has taken the following measures:-
(i) Committees constituted at district and sub-divisional levels to enforce the provisions under Karnataka Money lenders Act, 1961, Karnataka Pawn Brokers Act, 1961, Chit Fund Act, 1982 and Karnataka Prohibition of Charging Exorbitant Interest Act, 2014. So far, 1031 cases have been filed against erring money lenders and 515 persons arrested,
(ii) Payment of compensation to the bereaved families of suicide victims @ Rs. 2 lakh.
(iii) Extended additional support to Minimum Support Price for ragi&jawar,
(iv) Sanctioned loan to farmers at 0% interest rate up to Rs. 3 lakh and at 3% to Rs. 10 lakh,
(v) Sanctioned loan waiver of Rs. 35.50 crore for SC/ST farmers.
(vi) Extended 90% subsidy to all farmers for micro-irrigation.
(vii) Implemented "Bhoochetna Scheme" to increase agriculture productivity and income in dry land areas.
(viii) Started medical counseling facility to build confidence in the farmers,
(ix) "RaithaSahayaavani" (farmers Helpline) - 1800-425-3553 made operational to create awareness among the farmers about the schemes.
(x) Mass awareness campaigns throughout the State involving all line Departments, bankers, etc.
(xi) Visit to the houses of the distressed farmers by the Chief Minister and Cabinet colleagues.
Though, the primary responsibility of development of agriculture & welfare of farmers lies with the State Governments. Government of India supplements the efforts of States through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support.
It has taken several steps to revitalize the agriculture sector and improve the livelihood condition of farming community on sustainable basis. The focus is on improving the income level of the farming by promoting cost reduction practices and enabling higher market returns on his produce. Specific schemes like ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojana (PKVY) that encourages organic farming, soil health card scheme that will promote balanced use of fertilizers with efficient cost reduction. On the marketing side "National Agricultural Market" is being implemented so as to bring in marketing efficiency in the agricultural sector. Other measures taken by the Government for the benefit of farmers include enhancement in minimum support prices of agricultural commodities, bonus over MSP in cases of certain pulses, increase in institutional credit flow to agriculture sector, post¬harvest loan for six months to eliminate distress sale of agricultural produce by farmers, debt waiver/relief, interest subvention on crop loans, revival package for strengthening Short Term Rural Cooperative Credit Structure, etc.
(d): The Government believes that its comprehensive intervention that address the concern from production to marketing stages including enhanced credit availability will take care of the situation.