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'Cut Down on Spending', Punjab MPs Lecture Families of Farmers Who Committed Suicide

the comments by Punjab's MPs was made at an event titled "Farmer and Labourer Suicides Victim Families Committee Punjab" in Sangrur.

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Updated:February 19, 2018, 10:33 AM IST
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'Cut Down on Spending', Punjab MPs Lecture Families of Farmers Who Committed Suicide
Representative image. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Lawmakers in Punjab lectured the kin of farmers who had committed suicide due to mounting debts to curb wasteful expenditure.

The comments by Punjab's MPs was made at an event titled "Farmer and Labourer Suicides Victim Families Committee Punjab" in Sangrur.

It was meant to be a platform through which the lawmakers would understand the plight of the farmers from their state and raise their concerns in the Parliament, the organisers told local media.

What was meant to be an insightful event for the MPs though turned into a bizarre series of lectures on farming and unimpressive promises of compensation.

While AAP’s Dr Dharamvira Gandhi and Bhagwant Mann and SAD’s Prem Singh Chandumajra failed to come up with any concrete suggestions, Dhuri Congress MLA Dalvir Goldy promised to provide free education to “the children of each of the families who have lost their bread earner”. But not many seemed impressed, reported a local daily.

Punjab, which once used to be called the 'foodbowl of India’, has been suffering from a severe agrarian distress for many years now.

According to the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)’s 70th round on Situational Assessment of Agricultural Households in India, Punjab is second after Kerala and Andhra Pradesh with an average amount of outstanding loan of Rs 1,19,500 per household.

The total outstanding debt of farmers in Punjab is Rs 52,438 crore and average farm household debt is 4.98 lakh for year 2012-13, claims a study by Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana.

There are plenty of statistics to show how Punjab's farmers, who once propelled India's green revolution, have suffered apathy of lawmakers in this country for a long time.

Take, for instance, the fact that nearly 48.6 percent of farmers who have committed suicide in Punjab in recent years are below 35 years of age or the total number of farmers estimated to have killed themselves during the last decade - 7,000.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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