Hyderabad: Over Rs 1,000 crore was credited in the bank accounts of nearly 9 lakh farmers within three days from October 22 as part of the Rs 4,000 per acre financial assistance under Rythu Bandhu scheme for the rabi season.
The government started crediting the money directly into the bank accounts from October 22 after the Election Commission denied permission to distribute cheques as was done in May during kharif season.
Officials have gathered the bank account numbers of 20 lakh farmers so far out of about 51 lakh eligible beneficiaries, who got cheques in May.
Though another 5 lakh new beneficiaries were identified for the rabi season, they would not get the benefit as the EC had laid down a condition that no new beneficiaries should be extended the sop owing to the model code of conduct coming into play for the ensuing Assembly elections. During the kharif season in May, the government distributed cheques worth Rs 5,200 crore to 51 lakh farmers.
Though 59 lakh beneficiaries were identified in May, the government could distribute cheques to only 51 lakh due to reasons like farmers in whose names the land was registered not being present during cheque distribution in their respective villages. The cheques were handed over to only those on whose names the land was registered. Cheques were distributed to families of land owners residing in other countries by relaxing the norms.
Agriculture secretary C. Parthasarathy said the department had deputed teams to all the villages to gather bank account numbers of beneficiaries by taking up door-to-door verification and submit the data to government to transfer cash through banks.
“We are aiming to cover all the 51 lakh beneficiaries by the first week of November before Diwali. Messages are being sent to mobile phones of beneficiaries immediately after the amount is credited. These messages are being sent on behalf of both banks and agriculture department," Mr Parthasarathy said.