Hyderabad: Demanding that the welfare schemes should cover tenant farmers, Congress MP and former PCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy accused both the Telangana government and the BJP-led Union government of neglecting tenant farmers.
The state Congress leader claimed that Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar responded to a question he asked in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with a "generalised reply" and "misleading facts," claiming that this only highlighted the central government's indifference and injustice toward tenant farmers.
Uttam further pointed out that the Union minister did not respond to questions regarding the exclusion of tenant farmers in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). “By merely stating that ‘landholding is the primary criteria for eligibility for PM-KISAN’, the Central government is stating that it doesn't care about the millions of landless tenant farmers. Is the minister stating that millions of tenant farmers do not qualify as Kisan? Don’t they deserve the same “Samman” as the land owners with pattas,” he asked.
Tomar, in his reply, claimed that JLGs of ‘Bhoomi Heen Kisan’ were informal groups of 4-10 members who were engaged in similar economic activity and were willing to jointly commit to repay the loans obtained by the group. In the 2014-15 Union Budget, it was declared that five lakh Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) of Bhoomi Heen Kisan will be financed through NABARD.
Uttam stated that the Union Minister shared a chart showing figures of JLGs, but the data did not indicate how many of them were made up of tenant farmers or Bhoomiheen Kisan (landless farmers). “Tenant farmers in Telangana are suffering since neither the TRS government nor the central government are offering them any assistance. The organisations for farmers have estimated that 350 tenant farmers have committed suicide in the past two years as a result of despair. In Telangana, around 5,912 farmers committed suicide between 2014 and 2019. Around 1,478 of whom were tenant farmers,” Uttam claimed.
Further, demanded that the state and central governments change their policies toward tenant farmers by including them in welfare schemes, provide crop loans, and insurance coverage for crop damage due to natural disasters or other factors....