Mumbai: Failure in disbursement of loan waiver amount and ignorance by the state government towards compensation to the farmers who lost cotton crop due to pink bollworms led increase in number of suicides of farmers in Marathwada region. In March alone, 66 farmers committed suicide in the region. On other hand, from January to March this year, total 221 suicides of farmers are recorded. It means everyday, three farmers gave up their lives during last three months. Dhananjay Munde, leader of opposition (LoP) in legislative council and Kishor Tiwari, chairman of government appointed Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) held government responsible for the suicides of farmers.
Munde blamed government for the increase in number of suicide of farmers. “Devendra Fadnavis led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state failed to tackle issues of farmers. The state failed to compensate for loss of cotton crop in Marathwada and Vidarbha region due to pink bollworms. Even if, chief minister claims any figure, not more than Rs 12,000 crore of the total loan waiver amount out of Rs 34,020 crore is actually disbursed. District cooperative and nationalised banks are charging interest on loan waiver amount which is getting deposited in the account of beneficiary farmers. Farmers are in distress and they do not have any option and hence committing suicide,” said Munde.
Kishor Tiwari, government appointed chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) too criticised state for not implementing recommendation of the mission. “Farmers are not getting Fare and Remunerative Price (FRP) to cotton and tur, state has not assured farmers whether they will get financial support from district cooperative banks and nationalised banks for next season,” said Tiwari.
Tiwari also criticised Pandurang Fundkar, minister for agriculture and Subhash Deshmukh, minister for marketing who had announced farmers will get support from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and from insurance companies from insurance crop scheme. “Where are the minister who had made big announcement for the farmers, are they aware that farmers did not get any penny from NDRF and insurance companies?” Tiwari questioned to the ministers.
Tiwari warned his own government there is need to change in government policies. “State need to change its attitude towards farmers and have to change policies accordingly. Else, government will have to pay price for it,” he warmed.