The government has accepted the BJP’s demand to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the issue of farmers’ suicides in many states and asked Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar to consider its formation quickly.
The government’s view has been conveyed by parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in a letter to the speaker on Tuesday, following his discussions with agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
It will also be for the first time that two JPCs will be functioning simultaneously, since the panel probing the 2G scam is already conducting its proceedings.
In his letter, Bansal has informed the speaker that a large number of MPs have urged Pawar to set up the JPC.
Bansal has forwarded Pawar’s letter to Kumar, in which the agriculture minister has argued for “empowering the JPC with a mandate to visit states affected by farmers suicides and it should then come up with concrete recommendations to address the issue.”
Pawar has also referred to a letter written to him by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who sought steps from the government to end the “farmers distress” and formation of a JPC.
Pawar has reminded Bansal that he had written to him on December 27, 2011, following a commitment given by him in the Rajya Sabha on December 19.
Pawar had favoured setting-up of a JPC in the House following a major contradiction between the figures of farmers suicides provided by state governments and the National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB).
“The NCRB has reported 15,900 cases whereas the states have reported 800,” he had said.