Relief packages did not prevent farmers' suicides: CAG

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Mumbai, Apr 25 (UNI) Farmers' suicides in Vidharba region of Maharashtra continued unabated despite the implementation of the special package, both by the Centre and the State Government, with as many as 1414 suicides reported in 2006-07, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said.

The State had announced the relief packages in the region after 146 farmers' suicides were reported in 2003-04 and 4545 in 2004-05.

''The suicides, however, continued unabated and the number increased to 1414 during 2006-07,'' the CAG said in its report on performance audit of Farmers packages submitted to the State Assembly today.

The CAG said in the Rs 3750 crore package announced by the Centre for six of the districts in the State, an amount of Rs 239 crore, which had already been spent out of the state's share as part of its package of Rs 1075 crore, had been included and hence, overstated.

The report said information regarding total amount released out of the packages for the entire state and the total expenditure incurred was not furnished, though called for.

Referring to a survey commissioned by the CAG in the affected regions, it was observed that 75 per cent of the respondents were not aware of the relief from illegal money lenders and 82 per cent respondents were not aware about the helpline for farmers.


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