Hyderabad: Telangana State finance department officials are waiting for the Centre’s proposed farm relief package in the hope that it will reduce the financial burden on the state exchequer.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had in the recent Assembly elections assured farmers he would increase farmer’s investment subsidy under Rythu Bandhu scheme from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per acre per year and waive off farm loans of up to Rs 1 lakh for each family.
The government pays investment subsidy every year while the farm loan waiver is a one-time affair.
The Rythu Bandhu scheme has increased financial burden on the state from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 11,000 crore per year while the financial burden on the state government for waiving of farm loans is Rs 17,000 crore.
All eyes are therefore on Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, who, too, will announce a farm relief package, this being an election year. In fact, the Centre is considering whether to announce a farmer’s investment subsidy scheme on the lines of Telangana government or a farm loan waiver scheme.
If the Centre announces a farm loan waiver scheme, it will reduce the burden on Telangana government by around Rs 17,000 crore,
The Centre is also planning a farmer’s investment subsidy of Rs 10,000 per year. In that case, Telangana state government will benefit by about Rs 55,000 crore in the next five-year period, at the rate of Rs 11,000 crore per year.
Of course, Telangana state will accrue these benefits if only the Centre’s guidelines are similar to its own.
For example, under Rythu Bandhu scheme, Telangana state government pays Rs 10,000 per acre for each crop. But the Centre is considering to give `10,000 per year to each household. If the Centre finalises the plan, the state will not benefit much from it. Also, the government is waiving Rs 1 lakh farm loan to all farmers unconditionally. But the Centre may fix some conditions.
Principal secretary in the Telangana state agriculture department, Mr C. Pardhasaradhi, said they cannot assess financial benefits until the Centre announces the schemes and its guidelines....