BANGALORE: The state government has failed to implement the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package for farmers in six suicide-prone districts effectively, according an evaluation study conducted by Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
According to the study, ‘a good number of better-off households’ avail themselves of the benefits under exgratia payment scheme. The package, which was announced on July 1, 2006, was implemented in six districts each in Karnataka and Maharashtra, three in Kerala and 16 districts in AP.
Under the exgratia payment, the state government has disbursed `1.77 crore of the total allocation of `3 crore granted by the Centre. A total of 4,570 families from six districts - Belgaum, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Hassan, Kodagu and Shimoga - received the payment by March 2009. The average amount of payment disbursed ranged from `2,420 in Chitradurga to `10,000 per beneficiary in Hassan. The field survey revealed collusion between the local leaders and the officials. Many wealthy farmers also received exgratia payment bypassing the poor, the report claimed. The Centre sanctioned `50 lakh for every district to facilitate payment of exgratia to the families of distressed farmers for meeting contingent expenditure on healthcare and education needs of children.