NCP's Supriya Sule introduces bill to provide financial assistance to families of farmers who committed suicide

New Delhi: A private member bill introduced by NCP MP Supriya Sule proposes financial assistance from the government to the widows and families of farmers who committed suicide to enable them to earn sustainable livelihood.

The bill also proposes that the outstanding debt of the farmers who have committed suicide since 2000 be waived. It should be financed by the Centre and state governments in equal proportions, it says.

The bill titled Families of Farmers (Providing Financial Assistance and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2017, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in the last session.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"The state government shall provide financial compensation to the bereaved families in their respective states in addition to waiving off the debt of the farmers," it states.

The skill development programmes for widows, which help them develop alternate means of livelihood other than agriculture, should also be initiated by the government, the bill proposes.

The proposed legislation also makes provision for providing interest-free loans by the state government to the widows of the farmers with less than two hectares of the farm land to set up a small scale unit.

Emphasising the importance of the legislation, Sule said only compensation cannot help the bereaved families maintain a sustained livelihood as the debt continues to burden them even after the suicide of the farmer.

Thus, it is of importance that the government provides for a comprehensive rehabilitation programme for the widows and their children, she said, adding that small and marginal farmers with less than two hectares of land are among the most affected class.

Private members' bills can be introduced by any member of Parliament who is not a minister but seldom get enacted.

Updated Date: Jan 20, 2018 20:41 PM

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