Deshmukh rues not being able to contain farmer suicides

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Latur, Jan 18 (UNI) With farmer suicides continuing unabated in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has regretted not being able to rein in the malaise completely despite putting in what he termed his best of efforts.

''The state government is doing whatever possible to control the suicides being committed by the farmers of the region, but still the malaise does not seem to be ending,'' Mr Deshmukh told scribes during a dinner meeting here last night.

''Farmers are getting agricultural loans at the interest rate of two per cent up to the amount of Rs 25,000 and at the interest rate of 4 per cent from Rs 25,000 to Rs 3 lakh. Still, there seems to be no end to their woes,'' he added.

He, however, expressed optimism that the malaise, which was also a result of scanty rainfall in the region and it being a drought-prone area, would soon be contained in toto with the cooperation of the Centre as the situation was still not '' out of control''.

Talking about the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, Mr Deshmukh and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who was also present on the occasion, both concurred that the scheme was the brainchild of Maharashtra and its implementation throughout the country augured well for the people of the country, which would also bring in succour to the unemployed youth of the nation.

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