The Supreme Court expressed concern on Friday over farmers’ suicide due to crop failure and asked the government to come up with a concrete “roadmap” within three weeks to eliminate the reasons for the agrarian crisis.
A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar felt the government was working in a “wrong direction” in tackling the “real problem”.
“This issue is of extreme importance. Paying compensation to the families of such victims post-facto is not the real solution,” the bench said.
“Farmers take loan from banks and when they are unable to repay, they commit suicide. The remedy to the problem is not to pay money to farmers after the suicide, but you should have schemes to prevent this,” the bench said, fixing March 27 to hear a public interest litigation that has drawn the court’s attention to the crisis.
Additional solicitor general PS Narasimha, appearing for the Centre, apprised the bench about the schemes the government has initiated, including the 2016 crop insurance scheme.
“This would be a game-changer and would drastically reduce such fateful incidents,” he submitted, requesting the bench to give him time to file a detailed affidavit.
Narasimha admitted there was a need to strengthen the existing schemes to make farmers feel that the government would stand behind them in distress.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner – non-profit organisation Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative -- said government policies have existed for long, but have never been implemented effectively.
He suggested the court to constitute a committee of experts who could examine the various studies held on the issue and place “quick-fix” solutions.