New Delhi: The government is yet to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the issues of farmers` suicides despite eight months having been passed since this proposal was agreed to in Parliament.
Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat informed the Rajya Sabha: "On December 19, 2011, the Agriculture Minister had proposed appointing a Committee (JPC) of both Houses of Parliament. Accordingly, Parliamentary Affairs Ministry has been requested to constitute the Committee".
He was replying to a query on when the decision to constitute a JPC on farmers` suicide had been taken and the timeline for constituting it.
In the wake of contradictory figures emerging from states and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on farmers` suicides, Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had last year suggested setting up of a JPC while winding up a debate in the Rajya Sabha on agrarian crisis and suicides by farmers.
The entire Opposition, including the BJP, BSP, AIADMK, TDP and the Left, had supported the proposal.
Pawar had said, "The NCRB has reported 15,900 such (farmers suicide) cases whereas state governments have reported only 800 of these".
On number of farmers` suicide during 1995-2012, Rawat had recently said in a written reply to the Upper House, "As per ADSI reports for relevant years, 2,90,470 self-employed persons in farming/agriculture committed suicide during 1995-2011".
The minister had quoted the data from the NCRB`s latest annual report on suicides, the ADSI-2011 (Accidental Death and Suicides in India).
According to government data, 152 farmers have committed suicide in the current year due to agrarian reasons against a total of 14,027 farmers in 2011.