Punjab sets up relief fund for farmers’ families

Chandigarh, July 21 (IANS) To give relief to distressed families of farmers in the state committing suicide, the Punjab government on Tuesday announced the creation of a “revolving fund” to provide assistance to them.

“Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday approved a policy for creating a ‘Revolving Fund’ for relief to be given as one time monetary assistance of Rs.3 lakh to the next of the kin of such farmers,” a spokesman of the chief minister’s office said here.

He said that the move was aimed at “mitigating the sense of economic insecurity amongst the family besides enabling them to tide over the financial distress due to the death of the sole bread winner of the family”.

Punjab’s revenue department will deal with the new fund.

Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide in Punjab in the past few years owing to debt and losses suffered in agriculture.

‘Green Revolution’ state Punjab is known as the food grain basket of the country. Despite having only 1.54 percent area of the country, the state contributes over 50 percent of the food grains to the national kitty.

“As per this policy, 25 percent of the relief amount would be paid to the mother and balance to the wife of the deceased. However, in case, the mother was not alive then full relief would be paid to the wife,” the spokesman said.

The relief will be sanctioned by a committee of officials, headed by the deputy commissioner of that district.

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