NAGPUR: The Democratic Front (DF)
government has rubbed salt into the wounds of families of farmers who committed
suicide by virtually allocating no money for compensation in the interim budget
of 2014-15. Last year, the compensation was paid by raising bills on supplementary
grants of 2013-14. Now, the government has again asked them to raise bills on
the same grants.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar
made a provision of Rs 40,000 for the entire state for providing farm suicide
relief in the interim budget of 2014-15. As the amount is grossly inadequate,
the revenue ministry has asked divisional commissioners to raise bills on
supplementary grants of 2013-14 again.
BJP state president Devendra
Fadnavis has come down heavily on the decision. "In 2013-14 the money was
paid from contingency fund. However, this year the fund was exhausted as a lot
of farmers had to be compensated for crop loss due to unseasonal rains. The
government was forced to raise the limit to raise the money for the
compensation. However, the district collectors are yet to get the money,"
"When treasury has not been
able to clear the earlier bills, how will it clear additional ones? It is
evident that farmers' kin wont get any compensation. Government should have
allocated a significant amount for suicide compensation of Rs 1 lakh. Suicides
show no sign of abating in Congress-NCP regime," Fadnavis said.
Farm activist Kishor Tiwari
slammed the government for making such a paltry allocation. "The revenue
target for the state was Rs 1.72 lakh crore and it got only Rs 40,000 to spare
for farmers? Each district collector in Vidarbha should be given a substantial
amount that can be immediately given to families of farmers who commit suicide.
The poor families do not even have the money for funeral. It takes minimum
three months for the compensation of Rs 1 lakh to be approved. In almost every
case, the revenue officers try to show that the suicide was not due to agrarian
distress," he said.
The government resolution (GR)
states the district collectors should prepare a record of suicide affected
families given compensation for the last three years and submit it to revenue
ministry in December 2014. The amount of Rs 40,000 has been divided between six
revenue divisions of the state even though suicides mostly take place in
Amravati division. Konkan has been given Rs 2,000, Nashik and Pune Rs 7,000
each and Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur divisions Rs 8,000 each.
A local revenue officer said these token amounts were
sanctioned just to keep the head of compensation to suicide affected families
alive. "It is not an insult to farmers in any way," he said.