Replying to a debate on the 'Prevailing Agrarian Crisis in the Country', Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the government will bring new guidelines for the proposed agri insurance scheme and clarified that revised guidelines in this regard by the previous government will not be implemented.
     
"I want to assure the members that a new agri insurance scheme will be brought in before the current financial year ends," he said.
     
"There have been problems in government policies...and their implementation," he said but did not spell out these problems.
     
Holding these problems responsible for the crisis in the agriculture sector, Singh said, "The states and the Centre should unitedly work to remove anomalies in the existing policies after discussions to help for their proper implementation... My attempt is to sit with officials of the Centre and the states to formulate policies by January."
     
Replying to members over concerns on farmer suicides, he said as per figures by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2013, as many as 1.34 lakh people had committed suicide across the country of which 11,772 were from farming background, which is only about 9 per cent of the total.
    
"However, information received from states say that out of 11,772 suicides only 511 were attributed only to farm crisis," he said, adding that a majority of those hailed from Maharashtra.
     
He lamented that despite major parts of the country facing "drought-like" situation, none of the states came forward to declare it, but said the Centre would step in to offer help.
    
The Minister stated that the government had earmarked a sum of Rs 8 lakh crore for farm loans during the current year and earmarked another Rs 1,000 crore for providing irrigation to every village. He noted that 60 per cent of the country's land was still without irrigation facilities.
    
Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being a farmer's man who will take care of their interests, he said, "a businessman is not sitting at the highest chair of the country".

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