Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced a direct income support scheme — Rythu Bharosa — for land-holding and tenant farmers, fulfilling of one of his electoral promises. The scheme, which will cost the state exchequer over Rs 13,100 crores annually, will be rolled out from October 15 this year, ahead of an earlier plan to start it by May next year.
Under the scheme, all farmers of the state with land patta passbook will get Rs 12,500 per annum in their bank accounts, irrespective of size of land holdings. Tenant farmers will be given Rs 2,500 each. The new scheme will replace Annadata Sukhibhava’ scheme announced a few weeks before the elections by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government. Under Nadiu’s scheme, over crore farmers in the state were to get Rs 10,000 annually. Before the polls, only the first tranche of Rs 1,000 could be transferred to a section of the target families, as the beneficiary data base was still being created.
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After a review meeting on Friday, Reddy announced that it would be rolled from the rabi season starting October 15.
While a host of states, including Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand, have rolled out cash assistance (DBT) scheme for farmers since early 2018, the Narendra Modi government came out with a pan-India PM Kisan scheme in February this year. Under the Rs 75,000-crore PM-Kisan scheme, about 12 crore small and marginal farmers (owning land up to 2 hectares) are being given Rs 6,000/year in three equal tranches.
Reddy directed officials to provide 200 borewell drill rigs for every Assembly and parliamentary constituencies. He also asked officials to build cold storages and warehouses in every 175 Assembly constituencies of the state. Besides, the state government has decided to set up a market stabilisation fund with Rs 3,000 crore. This will be helpful to farmers in case of distress and will come to their rescue when there are extreme fluctuations in market prices of their produce.
He said the state government will take responsibility for crop insurance and the premium will be paid by the government itself. The chief minister expressed ire over flooding of fake and spurious seeds in market. Reddy also said an agricultural mission would be introduced to provide MSP to farmers. He said the agricultural department should be interlinked with civil supplies to supply agricultural produces directly to the consumer.
The chief minister said one rig would be sanctioned for each constituency to lay borewells free of cost. He directed officials to press into service 200 rigs immediately. He stressed the need for reviving cooperative sugar factories.
Besides, the state government would provide a financial assistance of Rs 7 lakh to families of those farmers who
died accidentally or committed suicide.