Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday approved the constitution of committee headed by Chairman Punjab State Farmers Commission Dr GS Kalkat to formulate a comprehensive policy on farmer suicides in the state.
A Punjab government spokesperson said that the other members of the committee would be Financial Commissioner Revenue, Financial Commissioner Development, Secretary Agriculture besides heads of the departments of Economics & Sociology from Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana, while the Commissioner Agriculture would be its convener.
It is pertinent to mention here that the matter related to the policy on farmers suicide was under the active consideration of the state government. It had earlier made a policy, which envisaged giving a lump sum amount of Rs 2 lakh to the next of the kin of the farmers who had committed suicides, due to economic stress arising out of indebtedness. The state government had got conducted detailed surveys through three state universities i.e. Panjab University Chandigarh, Punjabi University Patiala and Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar for the period from 2001-2011. These surveys identified about 4500 farmers and farm labourers who committee suicides due to indebtedness and accordingly released the said amount to the eligible families. Further, a committee under the chairmanship of respective Deputy Commissioners at district level has been formulated to identify and recommend such cases to the state government for releasing the requisite funds. However, it was felt that there was a need for preparing a comprehensive policy on such suicides, with a view not only to compensate the aggrieved families but also prevent occurrence of such unfortunate incidents.