The Supreme Court of India. (File photo)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over the rising number of farmer suicides stating that the direction adopted by the Centre was “wrong” to tackle the issue and a proper scheme in place was needed more than just paying compensation on the death of a farmer.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by NGO Citizens Resource and Action and Initiative, which has prayed for an overhaul of the agriculture policy and provisions for adequate compensation to farmers during drought and other natural calamities.
The plea had initially asked for directives to Gujarat government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to families of 692 farmers who reportedly committed suicide in the state between January 2003 and October 2012.
SC on Friday remarked that the “government was going wrong in some direction while dealing with such cases.”
“You should have schemes in place, giving grants to the family of a suicide victim is not the remedy. If you pay for the suicide, you are not dealing with the issue,” remarked the Apex Court.
To this the counsel for the Centre submitted that schemes are being readied to tackle this issue.
“We have made schemes giving insurances and also schemes to increase the income of the farmers. We are ensuring that farmers are not distraught and they have a place to approach,” submitted the Centre who also said that Union government will soon discuss this with concerned departments and solution would be prepared in two weeks.
However the petitioners were not satisfied with the response of the Centre and criticized the promises made by them.
“Centre has been giving promises but nothing has materialized. They should look at the price fixed for the crop. Farmers can only grow crops and in such a case, if there is a surplus then the price drops. This should be studied,” said the petitioner.
The case has now been listed to March 27.