Extending a help to the next of kin of the farmers and farm labourers, who committed suicides across the state, the Punjab Government has so far approved financial assistance worth Rs. 888 lac in 314 suicide cases.Disclosing this here, Revenue Minister Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria said that the State Level Committee (SLC) constituted in this regard has sanctioned the relief in ten meetings held till date starting from April last year. The Minister pointed out that SLC has approved Rs.53 lac in 18 such cases including six from Bathinda district, four in Mansa, six in Tarn Taran and two in Patiala District during its 10th meeting. The Minister informed that with the release of Rs. 888 lac, the congress government had provided the highest ever relief to the victim families in such cases since the launch of this scheme in 2015.The Revenue Minister further said that financial assistance to the next of the kin of the deceased was being provided in the letter and spirit on the directives of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
He mentioned that review meetings were held at districts and state level to ensure timely disbursal of compensation to the victim families of the hapless farmers and farm labourers, who ended their lives in sheer desperation on account of whopping burden of debt. All the Deputy Commissioners have been directed to scrutinise such cases within their jurisdiction on monthly basis during the meetings of district level committees headed by them. The DCs have been asked to forward these cases to SLC for approval positively by 10th of every month. Sarkaria further said that the state government was fully committed to ensure welfare of the farmers and leaving no stone unturned to bail them out from the current agrarian crisis despite having limited resources at their end. He impressed upon the Centre to immediately implement the recommendations of Swaminathan Commission so as to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers of their produce on one hand and make agriculture economically viable on the other.Making a fervent appeal to the farmers and farm labourers not to take such extreme step by committing suicides, the Revenue Minister said rather they should join hands with Punjab Government to transform the destiny of beleaguered peasantry reeling under acute burden of debt.