New Delhi, Dec 19: The government today favoured setting up of a joint parliamentary panel to go into the issue of farmers' suicide in the wake of contradictory figures emerging from states and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
“Let us appoint a House Committee with members from both the Houses that can go to the states to look into the issue (farmers' suicide),” Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in the Rajya Sabha, winding up a debate on agrarian crisis and suicides by farmers.
The entire Opposition, including the BJP, BSP, AIADMK, TDP and the Left, supported the proposal.
Pawar said setting up of a JPC was necessary in the wake of conflicting figures of suicides by the NCRB and the states, 16 of which have reported that there has been no such cases.
“The NCRB has reported 15,900 such cases whereas the state governments have reported only 800 of these,” he said.
Welcoming the proposal, Sitaram Yechuri (CPI-M) said, “The whole House agrees that a Committee is needed to investigate and find out ...unless and until we go into depth, visit to families it is not possible.”
Earlier, participating in the debate a united Opposition demanded in the Upper House that ministers connected with the farm sector should be present in the House during Pawar's reply as he has “no power” and is “crippled” in taking decisions.
The House had to be adjourned twice during the Zero Hour on the demand. Later, during the reply at 2 pm, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde were present in the House.