Relief for indebted farmers soon in certain districts: Bhuria
New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) The Government today said there had been a total of 1,361 suicides by farmers in the country and announced that a relief package was being prepared for the districts worst hit by the incidence.
Union Agriculture Minister Kanti Lal Bhuria in a written reply told the Rajya Sabha that the number of suicides by farmers reported so far was 1,068 in Andhra Pradesh (from May 14, 2005 to November 11, 2005), Maharashtra 142 deaths last year, Karnataka 124 (during the financial year 2005-06), Kerala 21 deaths in 2005, Orissa five (between March 2005 and September 2005) and Gujarat one last year.
He said a meeting had been convened of Chief Ministers of those states where indebted farmers had committed suicide to chalk out some permanent measures. But while the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra had attended the meeting, those of Karnataka and Kerala had failed to turn up.
Based on the suggestions and feedback received at the meeting, the relief package was being prepared, the Minister said.
To a related question on whether there were proposals to provide interest-free loans to agriculturists for a specified crop period without being driven to commit suicide, he said there was no proposal at present.
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