Chandigarh, June 4: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday approved the constitution of a committee to formulate a comprehensive policy on farmers' suicides in Punjab.
Punjab State Farmers Commission chairman G.S. Kalkat will head the committee that will have six other members from the state government and the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.
The state government got detailed surveys done by three universities - Panjab University of Chandigarh, Punjabi University of Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University of Amritsar - from 2001 to 2011.
These surveys identified about 4,500 farmers and farm labourers who committed suicides due to indebtedness, a spokesman of the Chief Minister's Office said.
Under its earlier policy, the Punjab government would give a compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the family of a farmer who ended his life due to indebtedness.
"However, it was felt there was a need for preparing a comprehensive policy on such suicides, with a view not only to compensate the aggrieved family but also prevent occurrence of such unfortunate incidents," the spokesman said.