In view of continuing farmers'suicides in the state, the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday approved the constitution of a committee to formulate a comprehensive policy on the issue.
The committee, to be headed by Chairman of Punjab State Farmers Commission Dr G S Kalkat will also include Financial Commissioner Revenue, Financial Commissioner Development, Secretary Agriculture besides heads of the departments of Economics and Sociology from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.
The Commissioner Agriculture would be its convener, said a spokesperson from the Chief Minister's Office.
The state government 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 conducted detailed surveys through three state universities - Panjab University Chandigarh, Punjabi University Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar for the period from 2001-2011, the spokesperson said.
These surveys identified about 4,500 farmers and farm labourers who committed suicides due to indebtedness and accordingly released the 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, he said.