Farmers committed suicide due to personal reasons: Odisha Minister

Bhubaneswar, Dec 9 (IANS) Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy on Wednesday said farmers in the state committed suicide due to personal reasons and no farmer took the extreme step because of crop loss or loan burden.

“The district collectors and SPs have conducted inquiries into the allegations of farmers’ suicides in the state. According to the reports, the farmers have committed suicide due to personal, family, health and other reasons while no farmer committed suicide due to farm-related problems,” Maharathy told the assembly.

Replying to a question by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Prafulla Samal, he said there was no proposal with the government for inquiry by an expert committee into the farmers’ deaths.

The state government has received report of death of 122 farmers so far from different sources, he added.

The minister said the government has allocated Rs.113.20 crore from Natural Disaster Relief Fund to 25 districts while the government has already disbursed Rs.44.57 crore to 1.12 lakh farmers to mitigate the drought situation in the state.

In order to overcome the situation, he said the state government has already announced Rs.1,000 crore package while it has sought assistance from the central government.

It is to be noted that the state government has sought a central assistance of Rs.2,199 crore to deal with the drought situation in the state.

Recently, the government submitted an additional memorandum seeking an assistance of Rs.512 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund while earlier, it had sought an assistance of Rs.1,687 crore through an interim memorandum.

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