11 Vidarbha farmers killed themselves daily from 2003-2008
Mumbai: The state government on Friday said that 7,786 farmers committed suicide between 2006 and 2009. Minister of state for revenue Prakash Solanke disclosed the figure of farmers’ suicide while replying to a question by Shiv Sena’s Ramdas Kadam in the legislative council. Kadam’s question was based on the news report ‘Maharashtra ahead once again in farmer suicides’, published in DNA on February 11. The state has sent a proposal to the Centre for another package of Rs7,262.64 crore for the six districts of Vidarbha. The maximum farmers’ suicides have been recorded in this region.
Based on a report by the National Crime Records Bureau, the news report stated that 16,196 farmers committed suicide in the country in 2008. Out of this, 3,802 were from Maharashtra. During 1997-2002, Maharashtra on an average saw eight farmers kill themselves daily. The figure rose to 11 during 2003-2008, the report said.
Revenue minister Narayan Rane, however, said that 1,906 cases of farmers’ suicides were registered in the state in 2008. He announced that the government would review the cases in the past three years where the kin of dead farmers were found unfit for financial aid. Rane informed the council that the government had announced a special package of Rs1,075 crore in December 2005 bring an end to farmers’ suicides.
Prime minister Manmohan Singh had declared a special package of Rs3,750 crore for Vidarbha in July 2006, which was aimed at helping debt-ridden farmers and preventing them from committing suicide.