'Planning commission should study farmer suicides'
The government asks the State Planning Commission to suggest ways and means to resolve agrarian crisis, reports Dharmendra Jore.Updated: Nov 07, 2006 21:48 IST
With no firm solution in hand to deal with farmer suicides despite several official and independent studies, the government has now asked the State Planning Commission to suggest ways and means to resolve agrarian crisis.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told the first meeting of the Commission held on Tuesday to create a task force consisting experts to execute the job since the measures taken by the Centre and State have failed in limiting the number of farmer suicide, particularly in the cotton belt of Vidarbha.
However, Executive Chairman of the Commission Dr Ratnakar Mahajan told The Hindustan Times that the task force would not study farmer suicides in isolation. “Now we’re in the process of appointing study groups for the 11th plan. One of these groups studying agriculture and rural development is expected to deal with the farmer suicides.”
The State Government is particularly disappointed as the special packages announced by the Prime Minister and State Government yielded no result. In fact, the number of suicides have increased after the PM package. Some 1,066 farmers ended their lives since June last.
The task force assessment will be in addition to noted economist and chairman of National Commission for Farmers M.S. Swaminathan’s study and the report submitted to the Bombay High Court by Prof Ajay Dandekar. The State machinery including top bureaucrats and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development and Research also assessed the crisis while NGOs like Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti and farmer organization Shetkari Sanghatana came out with their respective findings.
In the meantime, Mahajan asked the State to treat the State Planning Commission at par with National Planning Commission. “I demanded that there was no use of having the commission if recommendation made by it were not followed. Four year ago, the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Affairs had asked all states to give proper importance to their respective commissions.”
Mahajan demanded that the Commission must be allowed to implement and monitor tribal sub plan and special component plan.
Farmer suicide studies done so far:
*A report by noted economist and chairman of National Commission for Farmers M.S. Swaminathan
*A report submitted to the Bombay High Court by Prof Ajay Dandekar.
*Reports by the State machinery including top bureaucrats and Indira Gandhi Institute of Development and Research
*Independent assessment by NGOs like Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti and farmer organization Shetkari Sanghatana.
First Published: Nov 07, 2006 21:48 IST