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The non-fulfilment of promise by the BJP-led government to waive off farm loans has led to 117 farmers committing suicide in Maharasthra alone, opposition Congress alleged in Rajya Sabha today. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Pramod Tiwari (Cong) said of the 117 farmers who committed suicide in Maharashtra, 46 have been given compensation and the cases of another 58 is under consideration. Compensation claims of remaining 13 have been rejected, he said, adding that payment of compensation was an admission of the suicides taking place. The deaths, he said, were not a result of drought but because of their bumper crop not getting the right price and the hardships caused to them by the note ban. "They (the government) did not waive loans of farmers", causing financial miseries, he said. "The Government of India is responsible for the suicides as it did not waive loans." He said it was promised that the loans of farmers in Uttar Pradesh will be waived at the first meeting of the Cabinet if the BJP comes to power in the state.
The first meeting of the Cabinet was held yesterday and no decision of farm loan waiver was announced, he said.
Vikas Mahatme (BJP) demanded enactment of stringent laws to prevent assaults on medical professionals including doctors by relatives of patients.
Such acts should be made non-bailable offence, he said, adding that doctors do no cause harm intentionally.
Attacks on doctors have now resulted in a situation where doctors are not available to work in emergency and casualty wings of government hospitals, he said.
(Reopens PAR4) In his Zero Hour mention, T Subbarami Reddy (Cong) raised the issue of forest fire and asked the government to conduct a study and find a permanent solution to the problem. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said that people were not immediately and directly affected by forest fire and they may not take it seriously, "but for for the future, it is going to be a serious proble. Therefore, we should solve it". Rajani Patil (Cong) highlighted the plight of drought affected farmers in Maharashtra and demanded that the Centre should waive off farmers' loans in the country. B K Hariprasad (Cong) and V Vijaya Reddy (YSR-CP) highlighted the problems faced by farmers in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Trinamool Congress member Vivek Gupta spoke about the poor financial conditions of cab drivers associated with taxi aggregating companies like Uber and Ola. He said on an average, a taxi driver's monthly expenditure, incluing EMI of the vehicle and fuel, was Rs 40,000. However, despite working for 20 hours a day, a driver was not able to make Rs 40,000 as the companies have hiked the commission and do not pay for mobile phone bills. The tax drivers, Gupta said, were forced to borrow to meet monthly expenditure.