Agri Business

Maharashtra saw 4,500 farmer suicides despite 2017 loan waiver

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on March 14, 2019 Published on March 14, 2019

The loan waiver of ₹34,000 crore announced by the State government in June 2017 has not helped end the farmer-suicide wave. Representative picture of farmers during Kisan March.   -  The Hindu

In the last 5 years, 14,034 ryots from the State — 8 a day — have killed themselves

In the last five years (2014-18), Maharashtra saw 14,034 farmers — that’s eight a day — end their lives. In fact, over 4,500 committed suicide after the State announced a ₹34,000-crore loan waiver in June 2017.

This information on farmer-suicides over the last five years has come to light from a response by the Maharashtra Government to an RTI application by Mumbai-based activist Jitendra Ghadge.

While 14,034 farmers committed suicide over the five-year period, the mega loan waiver of ₹34,000 crore announced by the State government in June 2017 did not help end the farmer-suicide wave.

No respite

The RTI data reveals that 1,755 farmers across the State ended their lives from June 2017 to December 2017, while the number of farmers who ended their lives in 2018 stood at 2,761. In other words, 4,516 farmers — eight a day — killed themselves despite the loan waiver.

 

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced a ₹34,022-crore loan waiver to provide relief to 89 lakh farmers across the State. Speaking at the time, he had said: “It’s a historic decision. The waiver amount declared by our government is the highest.”

Of the total farmer suicides in the last five years, 32 per cent was recorded after the loan-waiver scheme was announced.

According to information from the State government provided to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), 6,268 farmer-suicide cases were registered in Maharashtra from January 2011 to December 2014. During the next four years (2015-18), the number of suicides almost doubled to 11,995.

The State government, in its letter to the NHRC in 2015, stated: “The prominent reasons noted for farmer suicides are debt, crop failure, inability to repay debt resulting in pressure from debtors, inability to procure enough money for daughter’s marriage or other religious activities, chronic severe illness, vices like alcohol addiction, gambling etc”.

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Published on March 14, 2019
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