Telangana Government Starts Crediting Rabi Rythu Bandhu

Hyderabad: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy directed officials to transfer Rythu Bandhu assistance of Rs 5,000 per acre for the rabi season into the bank accounts of all land-owning farmers from Monday. The decision was taken in the high-level meeting held by Revanth Reddy at the Secretariat on Monday.

The meeting was attended by Agriculture Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao, Industries Minister D. Sridhar Babu, Special Chief Secretary (Finance) K. Ramakrishna Rao, and Agriculture Secretary M. Raghunandan Rao.

In view of the urgency of the situation, with farmers requiring the aid quickly, the Congress government has decided to go ahead with Rythu Bandhu for this rabi season as there is not enough time to finalise guidelines to implement the Rythu Bharosa, as promised by the Congress during the election campaign, which covers more beneficiaries including tenant farmers and agriculture labourers.

Rythu Bharosa also promised Rs 7,500 per acre per season, against Rs 5,000 under Rythu Bandhu.

Over 70 lakh farmers will receive nearly Rs 7,500 crore from Monday in phases under Rythu Bandhu. The payment was first announced in November but stalled at the last minute by the Election Commission of India.

The CM also directed officials to prepare an action plan to implement the Rs 2 lakh crop loan waiver scheme for farmers as promised by Congress.

Among the Congress’ Six Guarantees, Rythu Bharosa is the most expensive, as it promised financial assistance of Rs 15,000 per acre per year to farmers and tenant farmers, and Rs 12,000 per acre to agriculture labourers, every year, in two equal divisions for the rabi and kharif seasons.

Although not a part of the Six Guarantees, the Congress also promised a crop loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh to farmers in its manifesto.
While the BRS extended aid to only 70 lakh farmers registered in the Dharani portal, the Congress is expected to cover a higher number of tenant farmers and agriculture labourers.

Since the finalisation of guidelines for identifying tenant farmers and agriculture labourers would take more time, they are only likely to get the Rythu Bharosa aid starting from the 2024 kharif season, it was learnt.

Sources said that the crop loan waiver also came up for discussion at the meeting, with officials estimating a requirement of Rs 30,000 crore to waive of loans of up to Rs 2 lakh per farmer.

The government is planning to hold discussions with banks and come up with agreements to waive farm loans in one go, and allow the government to repay the banks every month, for five years, with interest.

Officials estimated that this would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 600 crore per month in interest, for five years.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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