Scheme for distressed farmers extended by two years

October 8th, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The cabinet Wednesday decided to continue with a monetary help scheme worth around Rs.170 billion for distressed farmers in suicide-prone areas of four states in the country.The scheme for farmers in 31 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra will be extended till Sep 30, 2011, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told reproters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The cabinet also decided to modify the scheme partly to enhance its effectiveness, said Chidamabram.

The monetary assistance scheme was launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in September 2006 for three years in the wake of reports that farmers of Vidarbha region in Maharashtra, distressed by the widespread crop failure and caught in the debt trap of private money lenders, were resorting to suicide in large numbers.

Manmohan Singh visited Vidarbha July 1, 2006 and announced a rehabilitation package to mitigate the distress of farmers in select areas.

The cabinet had approved the rehabilitation package worth Rs.170 billion on Sep 29, 2006.

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