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JIH M’rashtra voices concern over farmers suicides, demands interest-free loans to small farmers

JIH Maharashtra is ready to cooperate with the government by offering interest-free loans to farmers through its Rahat interest-free microfinance scheme.

October 16, 2023: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maharashtra has expressed concern over a large number of farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra. In a statement to the media, President of JIH Maharashtra, Maulana Ilyas Khan Falahi said, “We are extremely concerned to read the report that 1,809 farmers died by suicide in Maharashtra in the first eight months, January to August, this year. This means that on average 7 farmers have committed suicide per day. Of these suicides 50% are from Vidarbha, 37% from Marathwada, and 11% from North Maharashtra. It is also a matter of concern that only half of these cases were considered eligible for the state government’s compensation as the government provides compensation only for those who died out of indebtedness.”

Maulana Ilyas said, “Jamaat feels that the issue of farmers suicides and agrarian distress is very serious and has not given the attention it deserves. Ad hoc measures like loan waivers, relief packages, or compensation to suicide victims’ families have not curbed the suicide tendency among farmers. There is an urgent need to review the policies related to agriculture, land holding, subsidies, and agro-finance. The government must promote organic farming.”

JIH Maharashtra has demanded that the State government set up a commission to look into the whole issue.  It said that interest-based loans or interest-based finance is at the core of the crisis. A lack of credit facilities results in farmers’ dependence on moneylenders.

JIH Maharashtra further urged the government to offer interest-free loans to farmers, or at least start a pilot project of giving interest-free loans in the worst affected areas. “JIH Maharashtra is ready to cooperate with the government by offering interest-free loans to farmers through its Rahat interest-free microfinance scheme,” it said.

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