High court believes giving cash relief is encouraging farm suicides
CHANDIGARH: On Wednesday, the High court of Punjab and Haryana noticed that by providing financial relief of families of farmers who have committed suicide, Punjab is “actually encouraging suicides”. Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli made these observations in the hearing of PIL by NGO Movement Against State Repression on farmer suicides in the state.
The bench said, “You are encouraging suicides by providing monetary relief. Someone desperate could actually take extreme step for benefits. People are starving, they may think on these lines,” which adjourned the case till October 15, saying it may summon the chief secretary and other senior officers on the issue if the state government does not give a satisfactory reply.
PM Modi, when attended ‘Kisan Kalyan Rally’, listed out various schemes launched by the NDA government at the Centre but not on the issue of farm suicides which raised these observations.
“If he(Modi) really wanted to thank farmers for contributing to the nation’s Green Revolution, he should have come out with some concrete announcements on the critical issues of farm loan waiver and in toto implementation of the MS Swaminathan report,” responded Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM.
The court has asked the government to submit a complete details of the number of suicide so far and the total compensation given to the families and also to file an affidavit on why farmers and farm labourers were dying.
Earlier in February 2014, the court asked the Punjab government to adopt the Andhra Pradesh pattern while dealing with suicides but the government did nothing.
The CM announced a farm debt waiver of up Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers, and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmer in June last year in Vidhan Sabha saying this would benefit a total of 10.25 lakh farmers.