Do the families of farmers awaiting compensation really have something to cheer about?

Farmer Suicides Telangana hikes ex-gratia to Rs 6 lakh but there is a catchFile photo: Facebook/Telangana CMO
news Sunday, September 20, 2015 - 09:00
Faced with an increasing number of farmer suicides across the state, the Telangana government on Saturday decided to increase the ex gratia to the families of farmers who committed suicide from Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.
According to a Deccan Chronicle report, Rs 5 lakh will be given to the families while Rs 1 lakh will go towards a one-time settlement of the loans obtained by the farmers.
However, what may trigger off fresh protests from activists and farmers is that the new ex gratia would not be applicable to the families of those who committed suicide before September 19, a Times of India report adds.

Reports of suicides have come from Karimnagar, Medak, Ranga Reddy , Adilabad, Khammam, Warangal and Mahabubnagar districts.

The state government has admitted that at least 409 farmers had killed themselves since the formation of Telangana.

However, NGOs and independent surveys put the figure at almost thrice as much at 1200 farmer suicides since June 2014.

According to government figures, the Rs 1.5 lakh compensation has been paid only to 141 families, while many families across the state still await compensation.

This decision comes after a cabinet meeting on Saturday.

The government had received sharp criticism in February this year, for not raising the ex gratia amount after the Andhra Pradesh government had raised the amount to Rs 5 lakh.