Chandigarh, July 7 (IANS) Punjab assembly Speaker Rana K.P. Singh on Friday constituted a committee to review farmers’ suicides in the state and prepare a report on the issue.
Congress legislator Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria will head the committee, and members are legislators Nathu Ram, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Nazar Singh Manshahia, and Harinderpal Singh Chandumajra.
“The committee has been constituted in compliance of a resolution moved by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh in Vidhan Sabha (assembly) on June 19,” an assembly spokesperson said here.
The committee will meet families of farmers who had committed suicide in recent years to probe the reasons.
The committee would subsequently prepare a comprehensive report with suggestions and recommendations on how to curb such suicides, the spokesperson said.
“The committee will find the reasons for the poor economic condition of farm labourers and suggest ways to bail out this community from economic crisis,” the spokesperson added.
The Chief Minister has said 7,000 farmers in Punjab have committed suicides in recent years owing to debt burden.
As many as 80 farmers have ended their lives in the last 3-4 months, ever since the Congress government came to power in Punjab.
The Amarinder Singh government has announced a limited loan waiver for the beleagured small farmers in agrarian Punjab, which contributes nearly 50 per cent of food grain to the national kitty with just 1.54 per cent of the country’s land.
The Congress, in its manifesto, had promised a complete loan waiver for farmers.
The total debt of Punjab farmers vis-a-vis banks is around Rs 60,000 crore. They owe hundreds of crores to arhatiyas (commission agents) as well.