HYDERABAD: The Telangana government has informed the Hyderabad High Court that spending huge amount of money on lavish marriages and children’s education are among the reasons for farmers’ suicide in the state.
In a counter-affidavit filed on Thursday, the government said it did not want to shirk its responsibility towards the welfare of the farming community. The thrust of all its efforts is to prevent suicides in the first place and in case they take place, it rehabilitate the bereaved families.
The government claimed that it was implementing recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Committee in the interest of farmers.
The government has filed the counter affidavit to a PIL filed by Vyavasaya Jana Chaitanya Samithi seeking court’s direction to the government for steps to prevent farmers’ suicide.
The government made it clear that it was aware of the fact that the ongoing schemes were not enough to meet the challenge and said that it would welcome any suggestion to help the farmers.
Listing out various reasons such as borrowing from private moneylenders, crop failure for two consecutive years, indiscriminate digging of bore wells, family disputes, prolonged illness, burden of private loans etc, the government said that expenses towards lavish marriages and children’s education in private schools were also the reasons for farmers’ suicides.
Disputing with the petitioners’ claim that 1,347 farmers had committed suicide in the state in the last one year, the government said that of the 782 reported suicides by farmers between June 2, 2014 and October 10, 2015 only 342 cases were found to be genuine.
Telangana government informed the high court it had laid great thrust on modern methods of cultivation to enhance economic status of the farmers and their all-round progress.
Awareness programmes were being conducted by the agriculture department to educate farmers about modern agricultural practices and ways of reducing the cost of cultivation.
Stating that it was deeply concerned about suicides which were an age-old phenomenon, it admitted that the ongoing schemes were not enough to meet the challenge.
To mitigate the financial burden of farmers and to encourage them to avail institutional credit, loans were made available to them at lower interest rates under the Rythu Sri programme, the court was told.
The government further said that it had increased the quantum of ex gratia to the bereaved families from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh besides waiving off crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh.
The court was informed that a three-man committee was formed at the district level with RDO/sub-collector as chairman and deputy superintendent of police and assistant director of agriculture as members for verification and certification of suicide.
The government said that based on media reports that 154 farmers committed suicide in September this year, a case study was conducted by the government and based on that study the district joint directors of agriculture found that 94 cases were related to agricultural problems. In view of the measures taken by it for farmers welfare, the government urged the court to dismiss the PIL which will come up for hearing on November 30.
Re-schedule Crop Loans, demands TDP
Hyderabad: Telugu Desam Party national politburo member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy urged the state government to re-schedule the crop loans in the drought-hit mandals and seek Central government’s assistance for the farmers. Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Chandrasekhar Reddy alleged that the state government had not conducted any field visit before declaring the drought-hit mandals.
Instead, the government brought pressure on the district officials to show less mandals as affected by drought. The TDP leader found fault with the government for not declaring any mandal in Adilabad and Khammam districts and declaring only 19 out of 57 mandals in Karimnagar district as drought-hit.
The farmers are up in arms against the government after declaration of drought-hit mandals in the state, the TDP leader said.