New Delhi: Government on Friday stressed on speeding up fund utilisation in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra which has seen high rate of farmers' suicide as it expressed concern over tardy progress in programme utilisation to increase agriculture yield.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said out of Rs 562 crore allocated to the region in 2014-15 under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sinchai Yojana, Rs 26 crore was yet to be utilised.
"The funds are not being spent expeditiously. The state has to act fast to utilise the funds," he said, intervening in a discussion on a Private Members' Resolution moved by Vijay Jawaharlal Darda (Cong) on agrarian crisis in Vidarbha region.
In 2013, the state witnessed 511 farmers committing suicide against 407 in 2012.
Singh said government will soon launch a new crop insurance policy to protect farmers during drought-like situations.
"A soil health card plan for the farmers has been approved to help farmers make a judicious choice of fertilisers to be used," he said.
Earlier Darda spoke about the difficult plight of farmers in Vidharba. He also spoken in favour of creation of a separate state of Vidarbha.