As part of its electoral promise, the Telangana government has launched a first-of-its kind investment support scheme for all farmers who will get Rs 8,000 per acre every year as crop investment support. About 58 lakh farmers who till over 1.42 crore acres are expected to be benefitted from the initiative, called the Rythu Bandhu scheme. They will directly get the financial support twice every year to maximise agricultural production and productivity. The state government has already set aside Rs 12,000 crore in the 2018-19 budget exclusively for this scheme.
Launching the scheme, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao claimed that Telangana is the first state to implement a farmer investment support scheme. “The government plans to spend Rs 12,000 crore every year under this scheme, benefitting 58 lakh farmers. The financial assistance will be for two crops each year,” he said.
Rao said Rs 8,000 per acre will be paid annually in two pay order cheques of Rs 4,000 per crop season. The state government has already implemented loan waiver of crop loans of Rs 16,124 crore benefitting 35.30 lakh farmers. It was followed by fresh loans at 25 paise interest. At a public meeting in Karimnagar district, Rao said under the first phase, the government has made Rs 6,000 crore available in banks after distributing cheques among farmers to formally launch the scheme. “Of 2.9 crore acres of land in the state, about 2.3 crore acres have been verified and around 1.4 crore acres have been identified as cultivable land. Whether they take up cultivation or not, the government will issue cheques as well as passbooks to all 58 lakh eligible farmers for this season,” he said.
As a proof of ownership, Rao also distributed ‘pattadar’ passbook among farmers. Land title documents were prepared after a comprehensive land survey. He pointed out that the survey identified 1.42 crore acres as cultivable land in the state. For seamless implementation of various agriculture-related schemes, land records have been updated and digitised. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief said he is committed to bring one crore acres of land under irrigation by completing all projects. He claimed that Telangana is the only state that supplies 24-hour free electricity to farmers. The state government has waived crop loans and was also implementing a Rs 5 lakh insurance scheme. The state government has also announced waiver of Rs 700-crore water dues of farmers.