The issue of rising farmers’ suicide cannot be dealt with “overnight”, the Supreme Court said today while agreeing with the government’s request for a year to show effective results of its pro-farmer schemes like Fasal Bima Yojana. “We are of the view that the issue of farmers’ suicide cannot be dealt with overnight. It is justified on behalf of the Attorney General to seek time for effective results,” a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said. The bench granted time to the Centre and fixed the PIL filed by NGO Citizens Resource and Action Initiative (CRANTI) for hearing after six months.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, referred to various “pro-farmer” measures being taken by the NDA government and said that for showing effective results, the government should be given adequate time. He said that out of 12 crore farmers, 5.34 crore farmers have already been covered under various welfare schemes, including the Fasal Bima Yojana. Venugopal also said that almost 30 per cent farm land has been covered under the crop insurance scheme and the figure will substantially rise by the end of 2018.
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The court, which initially said that the number of farmer suicides was rising, later agreed to the contention of the government and granted it time. The bench, meanwhile, asked the Centre to consider the suggestions of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing the NGO CRANTI, in formulating measures to deal with the issue of farmer suicides. The bench was hearing the PIL raising the issue of farmer suicides in Gujarat, which was later expanded pan-India by the Supreme Court.