Hyderabad: The state government has stopped payment of investment subsidy to more than five lakh farmers under the Rythu Bandhu scheme for the Rabi season. The government has to pay them about Rs 700 crore.
Before the elections, the government had paid investment subsidy of about Rs 4,000 crore to nearly 42 lakh farmers, leaving about five lakh farmers unpaid.
After the elections, the finance department stopped payments to farmers as salaries for employees for December have to be paid.
Officials said that usually the government stops all payments, except in emergency cases, in the last week of every month to pay salaries to government employees.
Under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the government pays Rs 4,000 per acre per crop per season. In the Kharif season, state government paid more than Rs 5,000 crore to about 52 lakh farmers across the state.
In the Rabi season too, the government paid about Rs 4,000 crore to 42 lakh farmers. The total number of farmers differs between seasons. The state government has to pay about five lakh farmers still. Officials of the agriculture department said that on an average, for every one lakh farmers, state government has to pay Rs 100 crore.
According to the finance department, the state’s average monthly income from all sources, including the Central government’s tax devolution, is around Rs 10,500 crore. The state government’s monthly expenditure towards salaries and other establishment expenditure comes to around Rs 6,000 crore.
In the Kharif season, the state government did not pay investment subsidy to about 2.9 lakh farmers as they did not have pattadar pass books. The agriculture department is waiting for confirmation from the revenue department to pay investment subsidy in the Rabi season.
If the revenue department confirms, the state government has to pay another Rs 250 crore to these farmers.
Principal secretary, agriculture, C. Pardhasaradhi said the state government would will pay the investment subsidy to the remaining farmers in January.
Speaking to this newspaper he said that all government employees were busy till now with the elections and hence the inability to pay. The principal secretary said that the department was waiting for confirmation from the revenue department to pay investment subsidy to the 2.9 lakh farmers.