According to Kondal Reddy, secretary of the Rythu Swarajya Vedika, the government must implement the 2011 Licensed Cultivators Act to grant recognition to all cultivators, including tenant farmers, in order to bring more beneficiaries into the scheme’s fold.
The Telangana government has released Rs 5,100 crore for disbursal under the Rythu Bandhu scheme for Rabi season as investment support to farmers. The Rythu Bandhu scheme is a welfare programme launched by the state government to support farmers’ investment for two crops per year. In all, 58.33 lakh farmers are benefitting from the scheme that provides them with Rs 5,000 per acre per season twice a year, for rabi and kharif seasons.
“In pursuance of the Budget Release Order, the government, after careful examination, hereby accords Administrative Sanction to the Commissioner of Agriculture, Telangana, Hyderabad, towards meeting the expenditure in relaxation of quarterly regulation orders under the investment support scheme,” the order said. Accordingly, the agriculture department will provide the details of farmer beneficiaries to the finance department in order to disburse the assistance amount.
The government had allocated a Rs 12,862-crore budget for the scheme for 2019-2020; out of this, it had already released Rs 6,862 crore during the kharif season and the amount was credited to the bank accounts of farmers.
However, the scheme is facing criticism for its inability to provide help to tenant farmers and real cultivators. The scheme’s critics, however, say it benefits rich landlords rather than ‘real cultivators’, citing that landholding is a prerequisite for availing the cash support.
According to Kondal Reddy, secretary of the Rythu Swarajya Vedika, the government must implement the 2011 Licensed Cultivators Act to grant recognition to all cultivators, including tenant farmers, in order to bring more beneficiaries into the scheme’s fold. “There are more than 15 lakh tenant farmers in the state who are unable to get this assistance. The government must address this issue to provide support to all the real cultivators. Tenant farmers should be given loan eligibility cards, based on which they can be given the Rythu Bandhu assistance,” Reddy added.