Farmer suicides: Increase in ex gratia effective from April

Farmer suicides: Increase in ex gratia effective from April

Cooperation Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad on Wednesday said hike in compensation to family members of farmers who have committed suicide and widow pension announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah recently, will have retrospective effect from April 2015.

Speaking to reporters the minister said that compensation amount had been hiked from Rs two lakh to Rs five lakh while the widow pension given to wives of farmers who have committed suicide had been increased from Rs 500 to Rs 2,000. Both the decisions will come into effect from April 1.

However, interest waiver on long-standing farm loans availed from cooperative banks will be effective from August 31, 2015, he added.

The farmers have to clear their principal amount by March 2016 in order to avail the benefit of interest waiver. The government may extend the date for clearing the principal amount by another three months from March 2016, depending on the situation at that time.

However, the minister parried a question whether the increase in compensation would indirectly encourage more farmers to end lives. He only said that the government will carefully examine the suicide cases before paying the compensation.

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