Saturday, August 9, 2008

Vidarbha Farmer packages failed to lower suicides: panel IE and Only 20% Vidarbha farmers got loan waiver benefit'-TNN

Vidarbha Farmer packages failed to lower suicides: panel IE and Only 20% Vidarbha farmers got loan waiver benefit'-TNN

Vidarbha farmer packages failed to lower suicides: panel

Express news service

Posted online: Friday, August 08, 2008 at 2337 hrs IST

The one-member committee of Narendra Jadhav, Vice-Chancellor, Pune University, formed to analyse the implementation of packages for farmers in Maharashtra, has pointed out that the schemes have not been effective in bringing down the rate of farmers’ suicide.

“Although the packages announced by the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister are good in terms of long-term benefits, they have failed to provide direct relief to the farmers,” the committee observed in its report, submitted to the state Government on Tuesday.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Jadhav pointed out that while in 2006, 1,448 farmers committed suicide, in 2007 the number came down to 1,241. “Suicides decreased by merely 200 which is not a drastic change. It is a failure of the Government agency,” he said.

The Jadhav Committee was set up on November 13, 2007, by the Maharashtra Government to analyse the implementation of its Rs 1,075-crore package announced in December 2005 and Rs 3,750-crore package declared by the Prime Minister

The Times of India -Breaking news

'Only 20% Vidarbha farmers got loan waiver benefit'

8 Aug 2008, 0533 hrs IST,TNN

NAGPUR: The report submitted by economist and Pune university vice chancellor Narendra Jadhav has pointed out that the much-hyped Rs 71,000 crore loan waiver scheme has benefited fewer farmers in the distressed and suicide-hit Vidarbha region than it has in prosperous western Maharashtra.

The state had appointed the one-man commission in November last to review implementation of the state and the PM's relief packages, the farmers' suicide issue and the agrarian crisis in the state. The report, which was presented before the state cabinet on Tuesday has claimed that only a little more than 20% farmers from Vidarbha have benefited from the debt-waiver as against an almost 54% in western Maharashtra, raising serious doubts over equal distribution of the waiver scheme's benefits.

Jadhav, it is learnt, has in his report recommended that loans up to Rs 50,000 per farmer be waived in all parts of the state except western Maharashtra, where the ceiling should be retained at Rs 20,000. It has also recommended that debt taken before March 31, 1997 must be made eligible for the package. This demand has been made by the state government too.

The report calls for doing away with the eligibility criterion of holding size for farmers in dry land which could make than 80% of the state's farmers eligible for the concession since barely 18% of Maharashtra is irrigated. The third recommendation pertains to the debt taken by farmers in fiscal 2007-08 which is not eligible for the package. The report suggests that these loans, if they can't be waived, be at least rescheduled so that these farmers become eligible for fresh credit.


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