Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar has said the farmers committing suicide is not a new issue and such incidents had been happening for many years. He was responding to a query by reporters who sought his comment on suicides committed by farmers in his constituency, Sillod, in Aurangabad district recently. "The issue of farmer suicide is not new. Such incidents are happening for many years. I feel suicides by farmers should not take place anywhere in Maharashtra, including my constituency," said Sattar, a member of the Shiv Sena faction headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
At least two farmers had ended their lives in Sillod during March 3 to 12, police had said. However, sources claimed at least six agriculturists had ended their lives in Aurangabad district in the Marathwada region during the same period, prima facie due to indebtedness. He said a committee has been set up under Agriculture Commissioner to study this issue. Sattar on Sunday inspected losses caused to crops in Sillod due to unseasonal rains last week.
The minister said the government will work on the recommendations of the committee once it submits reports on the farmers taking the extreme step. "The state government has taken numerous initiatives for farmers. We are giving them the crop insurance for just one rupee," he added. In its maiden Budget tabled on March 9, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government has proposed a Rs 6,000 assistance to farmers and Re 1 crop insurance scheme.