Budget 2019 is almost here, and it is a common consensus among most of the surveys that Narendra Modi led NDA government would give special emphasis to Agriculture sector.
Amidst this, shocking census of farmer suicide has come up in Punjab, that too in year when loans were waived off, indicating towards the gap between allocation and implementation of farm loan waiver scheme. Congress’s loan waiver scheme in Punjab was rolled out in January 2018.
According to a report published in Indian Express, four hundred thirty farmers and farm labourers whose outstanding loans were ranging between Rs 1-20 lakh had committed suicide in the one-year period. Out of these, most of the farmers who had committed suicide hailed from Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda and Barnala in the Malwa region of Punjab.
According to a farmer organization, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), less than 50% of the farmers have been covered by the scheme since the time Congress has introduced it.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had recently announced the implementation of the third phase of loan waiver scheme.
The government had waived off Rs 1,815 crore of 3.17 lakh farmers in the first phase, followed by Rs 1,689 crore of 1.03 lakh marginal farmers in second phase. In the third phase, the government is planning to waive off Rs 1,009 crore of 1.42 lakh farmers.
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