A file photo of farmers plant paddy saplings in a field, in Nadia. (PTI Photo)
Hyderabad: Farmers across Telangana are facing double trouble in the ongoing kharif season. There is no Rythu Bandhu financial support yet while there is a delay even in the payments for the paddy procured by the government in the rabi season. They have no money for farming now.
Caught in a crisis, farmers are again depending on private money lenders to borrow money at higher interest rates.
It is over 15 days since the kharif season commenced on June 1. There is no hint as to when the state government will put the Rythu Bandhu assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre into the bank accounts of farmers.
Normally, the government finalises the list of beneficiaries for kharif in the beginning of June and releases Rs 7,500 crore in the second week and transfers the amount into the bank accounts of farmers from June 15 to 20.
This time, the government is yet to finalise the list of beneficiaries. It is facing a fund crunch also as the Centre has imposed restrictions on auctions of bonds since April this year.
The government is not in a position to make complete payment to farmers for the paddy procured in rabi. It started paddy procurement on April 15 and completed the process on June 15.
The government has procured 48 lakh tonnes of paddy through 5,134 centres and has to pay Rs 9,397 crore to 8.45 lakh farmers. It has paid about Rs 6,000 crore to nearly 6.5 lakh farmers. About 2 lakh farmers are awaiting payment of nearly Rs 3,400 crore as per official sources.
The government says there was a delay in online entry by rice millers on the paddy stocks received by them after procurement and this is causing the delay in payments. Unless the rice millers feed online data on the quantity of stocks received for milling, the government cannot make payments, claims the state government.
Farmers are urging the government to at least ensure disbursal of paddy procurement money faster, if not the Rythu Bandhu money, so that they can meet the farming expenses for kharif – as for purchase of seeds, fertilizers and other investment costs.